SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
November 17, 2019
Ship’s Heading & Speed
Moderate breeze with cumulus and stratocumulus cloud cover
Day 4 consisted of an exciting, new, and breezy series of events. We started the day early, with a delicious breakfast made by our stewards before morning chores, getting into the routine of eating, cleaning, and taking care of the ship (our home for the month) together. After each watch finished their task (I cleaned the decks with A watch, but B and C watches did different things), we had a few hours of free time to go into Auckland and grab last-minute necessities, or stay and get ready to set sail on the boat. As it became clear to passers-by on Prince's Wharf that we were getting ready to leave, people started gathering to watch the action. By the time we left the harbor in the early afternoon, a crowd was standing at the rails to see us off.
The sail was a short but busy and breezy one- we travelled two hours north to Huruhi Bay in strong wind, where we are anchored for the night before getting fully underway tomorrow morning. During the sail, we learned in real-time how to set and strike the main staysail (and how actually difficult it is to haul the sails up and down) and drop the anchor, amongst many other skills and small tasks on deck. When we arrived at Huruhi Bay, we continued with our orientation to the ship, including operating the winch on the science deck and climbing aloft into the rigging. Both were really exciting.
To climb up into the rigging, we (A watch) put on aloft harnesses and first learned how and when to appropriately clip ourselves onto different lines and wires as we moved around up above deck. Then we climbed up after Rebecca (the 1st mate and our Watch Officer), who waited for us on the first platform on the foremast. She supervised as we learned how to climb out onto the yards (the big metal beam we are seen standing on in the picture), clipping ourselves in as we went. Both doing this and learning how to operate the equipment on the science deck made this feel much more real, like we are actually setting out on the trip that we've anticipated for so long. We're all looking forward to getting into the routine of 6-hour watches and longer days of sailing, which start tomorrow!
Bye for now,
Mollie Ockene, Middlebury College
S/O to my family and friends! Especially Sonia, who had her bat mitzvah today- I love you!