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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans


October 26, 2016

Auckland or Bust

Ben Eliason, C-Watch, Villanova University

SPICE

C(razy) Watch

Current Position
21° 13.9’ S & 17° 19.8’ E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
Steering 200° at around 6 knots

Sail Plan
4 Lowers on a port tack

Weather
Cloudy, force 4 winds, 6ft seas

Souls on Board

We’ve spent around four weeks aboard the Seamans now and it finally feels like we are getting used to living here. We have 11 more days until Auckland and I think we are more than ready for the challenge of sailing there. There is still so much to learn but we have mastered the daily routine of life at sea. Things that were hard at the start have become second nature for us now. It’s nice to be able to talk like a sailor and handle some of the sails without having to stop and think about it first. This long leg to Auckland will really help us settle into a groove and I’m excited for the weather to get cooler as we head further south.

Today was fairly uneventful. My watch (C-Watch) had the afternoon watch and we pretty much just sailed in a straight line the whole time with hardly any sail handling. In the middle of it we stopped for field day! After a great Star Wars-themed pump up from A-Watch (starring Tarita as Darth Vader) the whole crew came together to defeat the mung and make the Seamans spotless.

The stars the last couple of nights have been amazing! Venus last night was so bright that you could see the reflection of it on the water. We have been learning a lot about the stars and how to do celestial navigation. Also, we have been challenged to use only celestial navigation and dead reckoning to find our position instead of using GPS. There’s no real way for us to check how we’re doing but we haven’t hit any islands yet.

In other news, the shower policy has been changed to one per day which is unprecedented on the Seamans. Also last night we did our first triple net tow which included a 2-meter net, a 1-meter net, and our neuston net all out at once. It was quite a challenge to have all three nets out and tweak all the sails to get the boat going the right direction and speed for the nets to be effective. It was very successful and we caught a lot of small fish and other mini-creatures.

This whole trip has really exceeded my expectations so far (and they were pretty high to begin with). I have learned so much on this journey and have had the most fun I’ve ever had. The experiences are unreal and I cannot believe how lucky we are to be able to do all of this. A few of my highlights so far are:

  • Bex’s food
  • Jumping off of the Bow Sprit
  • Standing aloft with Stu near a newly formed volcano
  • Spending time and getting to know all of my wonderful shipmates
  • Meeting a bunch of genuine people and learning about their cultures on port stops
  • Rope swinging into a river with a bunch of Fijian kids

I hope all is well back in the U.S. I’m awaiting updates on the Cubbies and wishing them the best. Also, Happy 16th Birthday to Garrett Karsten!!!

- Ben

Previous entry: Goodbye Fiji    Next entry: An Introvert’s Paradise

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