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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

October 18, 2015

The Weekend

Elsie Thompson, C Watch, Marist College


Annelise, Erin, Elsie and Adrienne, enjoying a relaxing "weekend" afternoon out on the bowsprit

Ship's Log

Current Position
17° 57.5 S x 179° 07.8 E

Course and Speed
195 and 4.3 kts

Sail Plan
Main stays’l, fore stays’l, and jib

Windy and cloudy

Souls on Board

Even though at sea we have a very busy routine that limits us to mostly just eating, sleeping, and being on watch, we still manage to have a "weekend". Now, our weekend only lasts about 12 hours but we get them every three days. Having a weekend means that you do not have the morning watch (0700-1300) or the afternoon watch (1300-1900). And just like weekends in the "real world", we don't get them without a week worth of work. Before getting to the weekend a watch must have the 3am dawn watch. Dawn watch can be great because you can sometimes experience the dark starry sky fade to a meld of warm bright colors (if it is not cloudy or rainy). But on the other hand it can be a drag after the "week" of being up at weird hours and working constantly.

Today was C watches weekend. And once we got off dawn watch to a hot banana pancake breakfast I knew it would be a good one. The typical C watch weekend is productive and full. After the dawn watch clean-up of scrubbing the floors and toilets, we all retire to our bunks for a nap. Slowly we wake up one at a time and congregate to the saloon with a book in one hand and tea in the other. Eventually the books fall to the side and the chatter over tea and mid-morning snack begin. We all hang out in the saloon until lunch appears on the tables. Class proceeds shortly after with reports and lessons (sadly there is still school on the weekend). However this weekend was especially important because it was Adrienne's 21st birthday (#23- C Watch). So after class we all got red velvet cupcakes. This motivated the C watch ladies (Erin, Annelise, Adrienne, and Elsie) to start their daily exercise routine. Followed by Adrienne leading us in a spectacular Yoga session.

From there we pack the rest of our time with card games, journaling, hanging out on the bowsprit and anything else we desire. The weekend comes to an abrupt end after dinner when our evening watch beings. All the other crewmembers meander to bed between 2000-2100 in order to rest up for their next watch schedules. However the weekenders stay up late (evening watch: 1900- 2300). Even though it is forced, I like to think it is because it is my weekend.

Our weekends are not long but as a sailor you learn to adjust to the schedule you are given. You learn to be to be thrifty with your time and not to waste a moment. I became amazed by how much I could do in just 12 hours.
As Robin Lee Graham said "the sea has taught me how little I need- not how much."

- Elsie


Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Louisy Thompson on October 20, 2015

Elsie!  I loved reading your post!  Your weekend sounds way more exciting than mine!  I loved sitting in the bowsprit, glad you are enjoying it too!  Keep having an amazing time!  Miss you!

#2. Posted by Barty Thompson on October 21, 2015


I tink dat dey is gettin soft on you all! We nebber hed one o dem “weekens!” Wuz all werk en no play back in my day!

I liked the quote from Robin Lee Graham! Take that one to heart and never forget it!

We have all been on the look out for your blog and finally it hove into sight like land on the horizon! Yea ha! Hopefully, you’ll have a chance for another!

Hopefully, you are having a fantastic experience on the broad Pacific. Have you hit any big wave swells?

Keep on sailin - and no fallin overboard!


#3. Posted by KitThompson on November 02, 2015

Elsie it all sounds so great. Loved the post card.  As you can imagine there were many debates as to, if that was the island of Wallis or not or if it was showing the channel.  One thing I’m sure of, lack of sleep and off hours are right up your alley.  Who knows maybe you’ll find a new career.
Love you,



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