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
November 25, 2014
The Way to Windy Wellington
41°17.1’S x 174°46.8’E
Overcast. Cloud cover stratus and cumulus. Winds steady 30, gusting to 50 knots.
Sail Plan & Course/Speed
All sails furled, ship is docked
The way to Wellington was not a steady sail, but the day began as all important days do. C Watch came on deck for the 0700 to 1300 watch, greeted by the morning sun driving away the cloud cover and fog banks. But as the cliché goes, it was the calm before the storm. What began as a day beautiful enough for a carousel and Neuston tow quickly became a wet, rolling passage through the eastern side of Cook Strait (the waters that divide New Zealand’s North and South Islands). After lunch, A Watch took the deck. Less than an hour later, swells from multiple directions unsteadied the sea around us and the sun retreated behind a stratus-layered sky. Upon having completed pH, alkalinity, and Neuston net processing, the labbies (today’s
science team) were asked to help strike sails on deck.
“Hands to strike the stays’ls!”
I took the forestays’l downhaul at the bow. Some of my watch members joined on the line behind while others went to strike the mainstays’l. At the command from the Mate, we hauled away. The wind whipped, the waves rolled, and the spray spat in our faces. The sails came down quickly, then we wrestled to furl them. After a time below - warming up, snacking on chips
and dip, and working on homework - the ship’s motion steadied and the wind died down. A Watch was called back on deck.
Grey skies and immense fog. Calm.
We helped dock the ship in our quiet, lulling home for the next three days. Now, we rest in the harbor - rocking gently - for the first time in ten days. This is not Auckland, nor is it the restless sea. We are surrounded by a familiar yet distant urbanity nestled in soft hills of green. The Seamans will spend tonight alongside Queens Wharf in Wellington - New Zealand’s windy city.