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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

February 21, 2015

Watch Games 2015: A Salty Showdown

Elizabeth Asch & Maravilla Clemens, A Watch, Union College & Colby College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Elliot Rappaport, the captain, the officiator, and the true winner of today's competition.

Ship's Log

37° 06’ 52.8” S x 179° 13’ 16.8” E

At Sea

Souls on Board

It is every sailor's dream to be the winner of a line-identifying competition, in which we demonstrate that we have "learned the ropes."  This phrase was coined by the sailors of old to describe the need to learn the name and function of every line on the ship.  However, it should be noted that we have no ropes on the ship, because once ropes have a purpose they are referred to as "lines."  In this sacred game, the ceremonies begin with the students separating into their designated watch groups-A, B, and C.

Each watch group stands in a row and is monitored by unaffiliated watch officers who hand one card to the first person in the queue.  This card contains the name of one line on the ship.  The object of the game is to WALK not RUN to the line listed, and return to your respective row to earn one point for your group. Today, we were all gathered together under the false pretenses of class.  However, it soon evolved into a competition of gale-force proportions with frightening similarities to gladiatorial combat.

Parents and loved ones, do not fear, there were no casualties to be reported.  While there were no physical injuries, there were minor blows to self-pride-vocalized by B Watch.  They now owe a small sum in penalty fees for reasons that we are unable to disclose.  These same offenders were also the "winners" of the competition; however, a general consensus reveals A Watch (in second place) to be the true winners, as they maintained their moral integrity.  C Watch proved to be honorable and valiant competitors. In this educational experience, disguised as an exciting activity, students were tested on their knowledge of the lines that are required for smooth sailing across New Zealand waters.

While we joked about competition, this game was filled with camaraderie and friendship.  Our ability to laugh, learn, and spend every minute together never ceases to astound us.  With no land visible on the horizon it is nice to have the unwavering support of our shipmates, or as Matt Silvia so eloquently described, "our floating Marae."

Elizabeth & Maravilla 

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s257  line chase • (5) Comments
Previous entry: Volcanic Islands, Smooth Sailing    Next entry: Phase Two: Shadowing


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 A "B" Watch mom.... on February 23, 2015

Hmmmm…so, B Watch…what’s up? Xxoo

#2. Posted by Rick and Trine Clemens on February 24, 2015

Maravilla, now that you can be a member of a team that wins a game consisting of 70 functioning lines, it will be easy for you to learn the names and functions of the measly 24 lines on Justice!!!  Really so can’t wait to go sailing with you when you come home, and then sit on the bow sprit and hear stories about your adventures on the Robert C. Seamans. 
Went sailing Saturday and Trine saw her first Humback Whales in the Santa Barbara Channel. Lots of breaching and beautiful flukes rising out of the water.  Of course wishing you were with us, but much more so wishing we were with you!!! 
Keep enjoying! 

Love Dad and Trine.

“At sea, I learned how little a person needs, not how much”
- Robin Lee Graham

#3. Posted by Signe Harvuot on February 24, 2015

Marvelous magnificent Maravilla, I am so thrilled to read all about your trip so far! Your adventures and experiences sound unforgettable and just incredible! As for your little sister, everything is going well. Swim season has officially started so obviously that is somewhat of a bummer. Garcia insists I swim on varsity this year which is why I spend most of my nights feeling completely dead and exceptionally exhausted. Anyways, I am missing you and your contagious smile more and more every single day! I am so so happy I got to see you in San Francisco yet so so sad to say good bye once again. I can not wait to hear all of your stories and see all of your pictures of the places you have visited along your journey! Although I wish you were home, it makes me more happy to see you having an amazing time! Love and miss you bunches!

Your little sister (your favorite)

#4. Posted by Helen's Parents - Barb and Tim on February 25, 2015

What fun. Not knowing which watch Helen is on I can assume she “played” completely within the rules.  Cap’n Duff would never disparage her opponents… wink  hugs, miss you!

#5. Posted by Papa on March 02, 2015

Maravilla, if your Papa was not so old I would love to share this wonderful experience with you all. I know that your adventure is only eclipsed by the joy of each day.  Love Papa



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