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
May 31, 2016
Whatever The Weather
9°22.9’S x 150°59.2’W
Description of location
9° and counting down towards the equator
E x S Beaufort Force: 4
Hello to friends and family far away! Last night at 19:00 the crew of the Robert C. Seamans “Heave Ho’d” together to set the main’sl and begin the next leg of our journey en route to Kiritimati Island. Yesterday, we spent the day snorkeling at Karoraina conducting reef surveys. Students broke into pairs to focus on inverts, coral, and fish within the ecosystem. Although impossible to ignore evidence of bleaching, the reef was magnificent. While wind and rain hit the surface of the water, the world below felt so calming. Schools of fish hovered below our rescue boats, ducked in and out of dark caves and crevices, and rhythmically flowed back and forth under a surge of breaking waves at the shore. We spotted lots of reef sharks and a couple sea turtles gliding around.
Back on the boat we have begun to dive into our scientific work. Today during watch I had lab and we conducted a full morning station. We deployed a phytoplankton net, secchi disk, neuston tow net, hydrocast and CTD; conducted hourly weather observations, processed micro plastics, and completed a water surface station- testing for pH, phosphate, and chlrophyll-a using a variety of technology.
After a little over a week at sea the students are starting to get into the swing of many hourly, daily, and weekly routines. Yet, there is still much to learn. I’ve come to accept that for the next 20 days I will more or less always be wet, whether it be from rain, sweat, or cleaning. Life at sea is organized to perfection to ensure a successful voyage, yet the environment surrounding us is always changing.
The skies are alive today. We are getting close to the equator and squalls are impending. While our crew may not take part in eating zoo plankton, shaving our heads, getting tattoos, or any of the many strange equator-crossing-at-sea-traditions, we certainly plan to celebrate. As a city dweller it is incredible to look out from the ship and see sheets of rain pounding down in the distance. The squalls have been quick and pleasantly cooling.
Today during class Captain Pamela taught us squall safety tactics. I think I’ve seen more rainbows in the past week than I have in my 19 years on land. Dawn and dusk happen like clockwork but every day brings unique variations of color and light. At night we are learning to use the stars to navigate. Sometimes cloud cover makes it hard to distinguish the sea from the sky. We have seen flashes of lighting, sea birds, whale spouts, dolphins, and shooting stars. It’s terrifying yet wonderful to look out and see nothing but shades of blue. Here’s to three more weeks!
PS. Happy birthday mom! Wishing you a cheerful day on Buena Vista. Hope all is well with your crew on the Charles, and with your writing. I imagine the ballet was lovely. Tell Orion (and the others) hello for me. I will give you a call when we reach Honolulu. – M