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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 16, 2018

What a day, we’re underway!

Katie Armstrong, A Watch, Mount Holyoke College


Lindsay and Katie enjoy a view of the volcano on Rangitoto Island—Nga Pona Toru a Peretu (“the three knuckles of Peretu”)—while underway.

Ship's Log

Current Position
36° 33.298’S x 174° 58.629’E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
000, 1.6 nm

Full sun, 1/8 clouds, winds NNE, force 4

Souls on board

Hello there landlubbers!

Today is a very special day for S-277, as this is the first time we are not at dock or anchor while aboard the Bobby C! We left anchor outside of the Auckland marina at about 1500 and have our sights set for Russell, in Aotearoa New Zealand’s Bay of Islands.

In preparation for being underway, we went through more lab and deck traning while at anchor. During training, each watch learned the techniques behind deploying scientific gear on the hydrowinch, handling lines, and repositioning yards. Learning more about scientific deployments was my favorite part, as we got to raise and lower the pig (a heavy block standing in place of actual equipment) over the side of the ship. This requires someone to drive the wire and J-frame, which gets the equipment physically over the ship’s rail, and someone to “dance,” or guide the equipment and ensure that it reaches the water safely. We each got a turn to try driving and dancing, and everyone was excited to get the first glimpse of how our oceanographic data will be collected!

We also learned basic sail handling techniques, such as how to properly haul and ease lines. One of our sail handling activities included trying to lift students holding onto a horizontal line from seated to standing positions, which requires a lot of arm strength! Additionally, we practiced changing the angle of the course and tops’l yards (the long metal poles perpendicular to the mast) without any sails set. We quickly got used to calling and repeating commands in our loudest voices to ensure that everyone could hear us!

After morning training came the most exciting part of our day—leaving anchor for Russell! All watches stood by as the anchor was raised and the engine started to begin our journey. We aren’t setting sails just yet, as the wind in the channel is currently in our faces. We wouldn’t want begin our journey by sailing backwards!

Since B watch took the deck after getting underway, C and A watch have been enjoying the views on deck, reading aloud from nautically themed novels, creating knife and sunglass holders from spare line, and most importantly, sleeping! C and A will both stand watch this evening—in fact, watches are changing as I write—and then B watch will be able to do the same.

We look forward to spending our first full day at sea tomorrow!

- Katie Armstrong, A Watch, Mount Holyoke College

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: study abroad  s277 • (0) Comments
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