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 17, 2017
Under Way, At Last…
36° 48.7’ S x 174° 56.1’ E
Waihaorangatahia, Motuihe Island
Ship’s Heading & Speed
325°, At anchor
Calm seas, rainy
The day began at 0630, Kate’s soft voice floated through the beige curtains that surrounded my bunk as she woke Peyten down the hall. I peeked my head out peering around, eyes clouded with the last remnants of sleep. “Good morning, breakfast is in fifteen minutes and it’s raining” was the message being spread to those of us who had just awoken. I ducked back into my bunk, dressed and walked down to the salon for piles of pancakes, sausages, and grapefruit. After grabbing a plate piled high with food I sat and discussed the possibilities that the day would bring.
“Sierra. Sound the alarm” requested Elliot, our captain. “Fireeeee?” I said hesitantly. People chuckled as I was shown the fire alarm bell. I pushed the metal bar forward and people sprang into action as the high pitched alarm rang through the harbor. The drills had begun. A Watch ran out the fire hoses, B Watch manned the sails, and C Watch took care of ventilation.
After several drills, it was time. The much anticipated onset into the unknown ocean surrounding Auckland and New Zealand was about to finally begin. As Elliot began to back the ship away from the dock the feelings of delight and elation were felt throughout the air. The absence of rain made the air warm causing my foul weather gear to stick to my skin. I ducked below deck to rid myself of this unnecessary layer then returned to the deck. Suddenly rain began to patter onto the worn wood of the deck and I sighed as my t-shirt and shorts became soaking wet as we motored away. Free at last, we were now officially at sea.
Once we arrived at our final location for the night we dropped anchor and soon after began more drills: how to adjust the braces (the horizontal beams that are attached to the mast, supporting the square sails), and how to do scientific deployments with the hydro winch. While passing between drill stations I made sure to take moments to absorb the new setting that we found ourselves in. We floated next to a small nature preserve island that is currently being restored, caves dotted the cliff-filled coast and a rain storm surged past Auckland causing it to completely vanish from the horizon for several minutes. As the storm moved horizontally to the ship and left the city area, light began to shine through the blanketed sky. This day is one I will fondly look back upon not because we were finally at sea but because this is just the beginning and that though there will be challenges we will be able to meet and overcome them.
P.S. Happy Birthday to Eileen’s Mom!