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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

April 25, 2017

“Wow, what an exciting day!” – me, every day

Jana Maravi, B watch, Rochester Institute of Technology

Ocean Exploration

Flying Fish & The Island in the Night

Ship's Log

Noon Position
24° 36.0’ S x 147° 50.0’ W

Ship’s Heading
350° T

Ship’s Speed
6 knots

Noon Log

Weather/Wind/Sail Plan
Wind ExS, Force 5. Seas ESE, 5ft. Sky 4/8 Ci, Cu. Baro 1021.5. Sailing north under the four lowers on a starboard tack.

Souls on Board

There truly is no limit to the excitement on board here. I especially felt this way today, which also happens to be my favorite schedule. We (B/Best watch) had night watch last night (1900-0100), meaning we got a semi-normal night sleep and then the whole morning until lunch free to ourselves. For me, that meant starting off with an awesome breakfast quiche made by Angel, even though I slept right through 0700 breakfast (she’s the sweetest). Then I walked up into the beautiful tropical sunshine and received news of two flying fish that were in the lab! I, a scientific photographer, was pretty excited. The fish maybe not so much…

I then set up shop to work on my research project. It involves identifying small bioluminescent fish known as myctophids, or lanternfish. Alongside that, I will be creating a photographic identification book of these fish and various other interesting organisms that we find out here. It has certainly been a challenge photographing to the degree of precision that I need on a constantly rocking boat. I’m pretty excited for how much easier every task will feel once on land and don’t think I will ever take still ground for granted ever again!

Then, I showered!!! Shower days are hands down the best days. We’ve all gotten to do laundry in the sunshine and calmer weather lately and just the smell of laundry detergent puts me in a great mood. When living on a ship like this you definitely learn to appreciate those little things from day to day. So here is a list of the ones that currently come to mind:

  • Daily sunrises/sunsets & star gazing
  • Apples and peanut butter for 1000 snack
  • Evening singing/guitar jams
  • Sitting with people from other watches at meals and catching up/sitting as all 14 of us again in class (we really miss each other)
  • Trying to remember song lyrics for singing while on bow lookout (S/O to Romina for constantly being on the same musical wavelength as me)
  • Meals in general – I have never eaten so much good food in my life. Lauren and Angel are goddesses.
  • Journaling in the sunshine
  • Reading after a long day
  • Taking off the harness after a watch and sitting for the first time in 6 hours
  • Not being seasick!! My mind is still blown by this one.
  • The constant refreshing feeling of being disconnected – no social media, internet, politics, or anything of the sort. Just books and a tight-knit community.
  • Generally being surrounded by some of the most awesome people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. The fact that the 14 of us have spent the last few months in practically 24/7 contact and aren’t tired of each other yet is pretty cool.

Next came watch – I was in the lab and JLO (Junior Lab Officer)! This was the first watch that we did this after graduating from the shadow phase. We always have a lot going on in the lab and today had pH, alkalinity, and a neuston tow to process. Class at 1430 happens during this watch so we took a break and had one of the best classes yet. Each watch was tasked with commanding a man overboard drill in which they tossed the safety ring and pole into the ocean and we had to chase it down, leading the rest of the crew and shouting out the sail handling commands. Our watch was up first and completed it in 24 minutes which we were pretty excited about. It’s amazing thinking about how far we’ve come to be able to sail this whole ship after just a few weeks. Once back in lab, Erin and I went to take some photos of the flying fish with the sunset as the backdrop. Hence the photo chosen for the post! I then grabbed a sextant and jumped into star frenzy! Reading the night sky like this is something I’ve always wanted to understand.

At last it is night time, the midrats (midnight snack) is homemade caramel popcorn and I got to listen to Jay and Lauren sing/play Jolene by Ray LaMontagne (two of my favorite things in one sentence).

Shout out to my family (Mom, Dad, and Adi) and friends (I can’t list you for fear of leaving someone out). I love and miss you all! Life out here on the ocean is busy and sometimes difficult to imagine life back home but I’m thinking about you all! I wish I could beam you to Australia with me.

Oh – and unfortunately no sight of the actual island of Raivavae today which we had a guessing-the-time contest for. I really, really want to shout “LAND HO!” Just a bit ago (current time 2200), a light was seen on the horizon and the island is now on our radar about 10nm away.

- Jana

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: s272  study abroad  science  research  celestial navigation • (7) Comments
Previous entry: The Beginning of the End    Next entry: Feeling pretty tropical


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 Marisa Maravi on April 27, 2017

Oh Jana, my heart is singing today reading your post. This journey sounds so amazing and I can’t wait to see all of your photos and hear all of your stories. We thought of you so much during those days of high winds and rough seas (aka Cyclone Debbie and Cyclone Cook) and I’m happy to hear that the seasickness has passed. I wish I could stand on deck with you and look at the stars and at the dolphins. Best wishes to Captain Jay, every student and the whole crew as you make your way to shore. You’ll all be calling out Land Ho before you know it.
Lots of love,
Mom (aka Madre, Mommala, of just plain Mottthhher…)
P.s. Good news about Australia - we’ll fill you in.

#2. Posted by Mark Shimonkevitz on April 28, 2017

Wow, you are a great writer, too. Good read, and a great view into your adventure from the safety of my couch.

It sounds like you are having a great time, in a community of great folks. And doing good work, too.

When I go out in my kayak today, I will bob around in the Chesapeake Bay, and think of you, bobbing around on the other side of the world at the same time.

Enjoy your trip and your work. And keep up the writing.

#3. Posted by Kim Shimonkevitz on April 28, 2017


This sounds like such a wonderful experience. I am very happy for you. I know that it’s hard, but rewarding. Keep enjoying yourself. I’ll make sure that your mom and dad don’t worry too much.

Love ya,
Kim (Kiki)

#4. Posted by Joe Maravi on April 28, 2017

Hey Bug—Glad the excitement begins again each day.  Following the adventure is not quite the same as living it as you and your mates are.  I imagine the fish in the picture as you, flying, diving and swimming through the world. Maybe not a Big Fish but thats how I’ll tell the story.  Only your story is real.
Been so long since I seen your face
or felt a part of this human race…

You know the rest.  Now sing out loud with joy and wonder. But as Jana with her crew alongside.

Miss you,


#5. Posted by Kurt Bahnke on April 29, 2017

Hello Kurt Thomas, your B watch besties, and all aboard the RCS. Can’t believe your journey is so near it’s fruition. I already know I will miss reading the blogs. They were humorous, informative, and certainly conveyed the work and wonder of your time at sea. If you think you’ve taken enough pictures, take more. If you’ve already filled your journals, borrow some paper and write more. Come the distant days that are not yet even on the horizon of your young lives,you will be glad you did.

We’re sailing in a strange boat
Heading for a strange shore
We’re sailing in a strange boat
Heading for a strange shore
Carrying the strangest cargo
That was ever hauled aboard

We’re sailing on a strange sea
Blown by a strange wind
We’re sailing on a strange sea
Blown by a strange wind
Carrying the strangest crew
That ever sinned

We’re riding in a strange car
We’re followin’ a strange star
We’re climbing on the strangest ladder
That was ever there to climb

We’re living in a strange time
Working for a strange goal
We’re living in a strange time
Working for a strange goal
We’re turning flesh and body
Into soul
-Strange boat, The Waterboys

#6. Posted by Oma on April 29, 2017

Dear Jana,
Greetings from Oma and Omar (the 2 O’s), Shadow the cat to you. I enjoyed reading your blog. I sure wish I was there. It sounds like you’re having a spectacular time.
Love from Oma

#7. Posted by Patricia jacobs on May 06, 2017

Hi Jana,
How envious I am of such a glorious trip! Bill and I found your blog to be very observant and introspective with your compatriots. You never tire of each other. Good for you!  Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!
Love you,



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