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Current position of the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

July 08, 2014

The Magnitude of the Ocean

Clare Feely, B-Watch, Cornell University

A different perspective of the morning ocean (approx. 0600), via the porthole of my cozy bunk; a view usually seen through groggy eyes.

Ship's Log

9° 26.3’N x 163° 35.0’W

Today marks a week aboard the Seamans!! While finding sleep amid the bustling schedule on deck has been the biggest adjustment for most, I believe we are beginning to settle into the routine of watches, meals, cleaning, and class. With watches rotating every three days, each day blends and blurs into the next. Our skin is tanning (or in some cases, reddening) to the sun’s powerful rays, our hands are toughening to the continuous processes of setting and striking sail, and our bodies are slowly, but surely, acclimating to the constant roll and sway of the ship.

The other night while taking my turn on the bow, I realized that my favorite watch so far has to be midwatch (2300-0300). It provides an opportunity to escape from the heat of the day as well as the promise of “the sleep of kings” when we are relieved. The sleep of kings is defined by having 10 hours off from watch, but more importantly, the chance to get a solid 8 hours of sleep.  Additionally, the most entertaining of ideas seem to be generated during the wee hours of midwatch. However silly they may be, there’s something quite special about the way in which the night sky envelops the ship, with only your watchmates, the bioluminescence of the crashing waves, and the twinkle of distant stars for an audience.

The magnitude of the ocean is awe-inspiring. Its strength serves as a constant reminder to stay humble in the present moment. We’ve had a taste of squalls the last couple of night watches, and as we approach the Inter- Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), menacingly cloudy skies are likely in our future. This relatively slim band of 100 nautical miles along the equator is a region of active vertical convection cells, characterized by a warm, humid climate with intermittent winds interspersed with strong squalls, heavy rain, and towering cumulus clouds. While the effects of this region are far reaching (potentially, 100 nm to the north and south of the initial band), not to worry, we are well equipped for what is to come. The knowledge we have gleaned on deck of sail and line handling has been as valuable as it has been fun. I look forward to soaking up as much as I can in the coming weeks, whether rain from the clouds or data from the lab.

Friends and family back home, CUSB, Thinking of you xoxo

- Clare

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s254 • (0) Comments
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