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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

February 21, 2016

The Open Ocean

Leland Swift, Carleton College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

View from the bow of the Robert C. Seamans. Nothing but blue waters and adventure ahead of us!

Ship's Log

Current Position
RCS sailing north of Hauraki Gulf, East of Whangarei, New Zealand

Beautiful! Mostly sunny with some clouds, Strong SW Breeze, 25 degrees Celsius at midday

Souls on Board

After getting our first taste of sailing yesterday, following three long days of training at port in Auckland, class S-264 has been itching to get out to sea, and today we finally did. Once everyone had finished eating breakfast, we mustered all hands to deck, lifted anchor, raised the sails, and set out for the open ocean by 0800.

Leaving the Auckland city skyline behind us, Captain Elliott set a course north through sunny skies and smooth seas: a perfect day to start sailing.

Today was full of first experiences for class S-264. We finally started the usual sea watch schedule, in which our class of 22 students is split into three different groups, alternately tackling six hour shifts. We also took our first science samples, a neuston net tow which captures different types of plankton at the surface layer of the ocean with a 33 micron mesh net and a surface sample at 1200 hours. At 1430 we had our first class on board the ship, in which our captain presented on local weather fronts, the chief scientist explained the neuston tow, and our resident anthropologist Jeff led a debrief of our field trips in Auckland.

Other firsts included our first dolphin and shark sighting (I was very upset that I managed to miss both), my personal first stint at the helm steering the ship, and many of students first time experiencing the harsh southern hemisphere sun, as evidenced by our red (but still smiling) faces. On top of all that, today was the first time many of the students experienced sea sickness. While my watch was spared, several students are donating to Tangaroa, the Māori god of the sea, as I write this now.

Overall, it was an incredibly memorable day for the whole crew, as we rolled through the waves of deep blue water and got underway with our amazing adventure. As we settle into the first night watches I feel truly blessed to be on such an amazing boat, with such great people, in such a beautiful place, finally getting my first tastes of this journey I’ve dreamed about for so long. I will be sending love to my all of friends and family back home who have helped make this experience possible for me, as the waves rock me to sleep in my bunk while we sail through the night.

Peace and Love,

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s264  sailing • (0) Comments
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