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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans


April 25, 2018

Aloft and Amazed

Brittany Hernandez, A Watch, Bowdoin College

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Me, aloft and amazed by the immense ocean surrounding me and the wind washing away the sounds from below

Current Position
25˚41.9’S x 156˚43.5’W

Ship’s Heading & Speed
025˚per ship’s compass at 6.2 knots

Sail Plan
Starboard tack under the four lowers (mains’l, mainstays’l, forestays’l, jib)

Weather
24˚C, cloudy with occasional squalls, wind from the NExE

Souls on board

As we sail north, the days keep getting sunnier and warmer. My classmates and I have been taking advantage of the recent nice weather to climb aloft on the foremast. The last time many of us climbed aloft was four weeks ago before we left port in Lyttleton, New Zealand. Today I decided to climb aloft with Haley to enjoy the views, watch for marine animals, and take a break from our projects. After getting into harnesses, Haley and I climbed up the shrouds (like ladders supporting each mast). Going aloft was a little bit more adventurous this time around due to the wind and motion of the boat caused by being underway.

Once on the platform near the course yard, we took in the 360 view of the ocean and the ship. From above, the ocean is so many shades of deep blue and goes on forever. It’s crazy to think that in a few days we’ll be seeing land, and the feeling of remoteness will be gone. I’ve truly enjoyed waking up every morning surrounded by the ocean and having my world consist of this boat and all the amazing people on board. Being that high
up really gives you a new perspective on the world around you.

When Haley and I weren’t talking and laughing, we were keeping an eye out for whales and sharks in hopes of getting the perfect birds-eye view of one swimming along the ship. Sadly, we didn’t see any whales or sharks, but we did see three white-tailed tropic birds! An exciting development in our seabird observations, which used to only consist of albatross, shearwaters and petrels! The sighting of white-tailed tropic birds is also indicative
of us getting closer to the tropics, which is equally as exciting! I’m hoping if I spend enough time aloft I will see a shark or whale, because earlier this week another classmate, Melia, was aloft and she saw a shark
swim by the boat! Wicked cool!

After climbing down, we made it to the main salon just in time for afternoon snack, which was ice cream! I never would’ve guessed there was ice cream on this boat - it makes me wonder how many other delicious treats are hidden in the freezer. There were so many different flavors to choose from. My favorite was the vegan raspberry chocolate. It was the perfect way to end another great day aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans.

Overall, one thing I really appreciated about being aloft is that there was no noise - the waves and the wind blocked out the sounds from below. It was a nice way to decompress from busy life on deck, especially with the start of JWO and JLO. Morning watch (0700-1300) today was my first JWO, and it was a mix of challenges, excitement, and appreciation for my watchmates. There is a lot of responsibility with JWO and a lot of things to remember, and I’m very grateful for my A Watch. It was really fun testing my knowledge of what we’ve learned, problem solving alongside my watchmates, and learning new information that will be useful for future watches.

As always, I miss you and love you Mom, Dad, Angie, and Beugur! To Jessa - you’ll be happy to know that I learned how to bake vegan cinnamon rolls! To Manlio - we caught a piece of pumice in the Neuston net during a Neuston tow and I thought of you - thinking back, now I wish I would’ve kept it to give to you haha!

- Brittany Hernandez, A Watch, Bowdoin College

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: s278  study abroad  life at sea • (2) Comments

Reactions

#1. Posted by Rebecca Hernandez on April 27, 2018

Loved the picture you posted, Britt!  Glad you got to climb aloft on the foremast and experience the awesome view.  How thrilling!

Sounds like JWO and JLO is quite a challenge, but worth all the effort and hard work you and your watch mates put into it.  Keep up the great work!

Sending you an early “Happy Birthday, Britt!”  We will be thinking of you on May 2nd and wishing you a fun-filled and exciting day!  A vegan vanilla cake with strawberry frosting will be waiting for you when you get home:)

We love you and miss you so much, Brittany!  Stay safe!

Love,
Mom and Dad

PS - Beugur sends Happy Birthday wishes and loves you, too!


#2. Posted by Angie Hernandez on May 02, 2018

Hi Britt,
I’m really proud of you, and I’m so happy that you’re having fun! Wish I could be there too! See you when you get back. Happy Birthday!
Love you lots,
Angie


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