Ready for an adventure with a purpose? Request info »
  • Search SEA Semester, Summer and High School Programs
SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans

April 28, 2017

Alone but not lonely

Jay Amster, Captain

Ocean Exploration

Jaquelyn and Turi talk about zooplankton during their Oceanography project presentation

Noon Position
20° 29.0’S x 149° 18.0’W

250 nm SSE of Raiatea, French Polynesia

Ship Heading

Ship Speed


Sail Plan
A tropics treat: Sailing on the starboard tack under all fore-and-aft sail!

Wind NEx N, Force 4. Seas 2-3 feet from the East.

Souls on Board

It’s been 30 days since we left New Zealand, and with the ocean all around, we are alone.

We’ve seen 2 ships in that time, and spoken to only one, in Chinese no less (nice work Jaquelyn and Marcia!). The isolation of our long ocean passage has allowed us to focus inward; the rhythm of the ship’s routine has become, perhaps unnoticed, the new normal for all hands on board.

Sailing, stopping for science. Sailing again. Dealing with fair weather and foul. Class. Amazing meals. Laughter. Celestial Navigation. Field day. Wondering what ‘our people’ back home are doing at this exact moment. The unmatchable view of our world from aloft. Ever increasing amounts of responsibility, both individually and as a watch. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Fully adjusted to this new normal, students are in the home stretch of the academic portion of our program. Oceanography project groups started presenting their results today. Was that hypothesis you developed on shore supported by the data you collected over the past 4 weeks?

As students present their findings, I’m struck by how much they’ve accomplished during their time on board. In addition to project presentations, our students are now well into their JWO phase, advancing to lead their watch as the Junior Watch Officer. JWO is an opportunity for each watch to demonstrate the skills they’ve acquired over the last 4 weeks. Together, watches keep the ship’s routine going: setting and striking sail, running science deployments, navigating, cooking, cleaning, engineering, etc. Simultaneously, students are putting together their project presentations, preparing for their JWO stint, and so on. The rhythm of the ship’s routine continues.

Thirty consecutive days at sea have molded the crew of S-272 into a strong community, and though we’re alone out here, we are not lonely.

- Jay

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: s272  life at sea • (2) Comments
Previous entry: Taking a Step Back Into the Present    Next entry: Swim Call!


#1. Posted by CPG on May 01, 2017

Figuring you docked about 2 hours ago it is 6:00 P M here .Monday .
Obviously a successful trip based on reading all of the blogs.
See us soon .

#2. Posted by Marisa Maravi on May 02, 2017

Captain Jay,
You and your crew have, in very short order, brought together a group of novices and turned them into sailors. You have fostered a community and helped these young adults with an experience of a lifetime, allowing them to learn about and develop their strengths. Thank you is not enough.  I’m sure all the families and friends following this journey feel the same.  Best wishes for fair winds wherever they take you next.



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

I would like SEA to keep me informed about news and opportunities.