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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans


November 03, 2016

Fleece Nugget Has the Con

Tehani Louis-Perkins, B Watch, Whitman College

SPICE

Up Aloft in 10 Foot Swells

Current Position
31° 46.0’S x 172° 25.6 ‘E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
130 PSC @ 5kts

Sail Plan
Starboard tack tris’l, staysl’s, and jib

Weather
cold az & windy az

Souls on Board

On October 28th 2016 we started doing JWO (Junior Watch Officer) and JLO (Junior Lab Officer) which was honestly pretty terrifying but it was also an amazing opportunity because honestly in the world of sailing when will you ever have complete control of the deck. A few days ago I was given the opportunity to take the con and call the shots. Right off the back I was ordered to set the tops’l, one of my favorite sails, to hopefully allow us to get more wind. After setting the tops’l a million times I sort of just blanked on the calls and had to play it out in my head a million times before I was ready to call it. At that moment there was less than ten minutes to set the Tops’l so I just called it and it went pretty smoothly.

Unfortunately, the tops’l did nothing for our speed because there was barely any wind. I had to run (just kidding cant do that) to Captain Jay and tell him the terrible news. He teased me that I was suppose to make more wind happen and I said I can not make the makani come out of thin air. In Hawaiian, makani is the generalized word for wind and since I was so nervous I began to lose my cool and speak certain Hawaiian words. Fortunately for me Jay was really receptive and also started saying makani whenever he was around me to refer to the wind.

After this it was time to gybe for science and do the full load of science deployments. I called the gybe and instead of striking the tops’l as usual we tried something new and used the tops’l to gybe. This required us to steer downwind which I called toward the helm to quickly do so we were on time for science. Meanwhile we had to rig the preventer on the port side for the first time instead of the starboard side that it is usually on. It was my first time doing that so I was freaking out a bit and the boom was whacking around while we passed it but we eventually got it rigged and secure. Science deployment went really well and finally I was given the call to strike the mains’l. While we struck the mains’l the boom apparently got stuck on the gooseneck for the first time ever (yay). It took us a while to fix it and my watch ended up going a lot later which was crazy. I’ll admit that was probably the most frustrating and horrifying time because I thought most of the failures on my watch were my fault. Turns out they weren’t which was pretty awesome but I still feel like from these crazy anomalies that I have learned so much.

I am really stoked that I got to be JWO but it also reminded me of how little time I have left on the Robert C. Seamans and at sea. I honestly don’t think I want to go back to land quite soon and if SEA Semester told me they needed a deckhand for the next leg I probably would do it. I am realizing that we are less than 200 hundred miles away from Aotearoa. It’s kind of sad that this trip is going to end but it has inspired me to try and get back into sailing and navigating. Maybe ill take up being a deckhand back home or try to jump on a research vessel as a volunteer. I guess we will see!

Fun fact: I taught my watch an oli (Hawaiian chant) and we use it everytime we haul on lines, set sail, and strike sail. I love them all so much and I am so happy they wanted to learn the chant and do it with me. B watch is the best! Also Hau’oli la hanau (happy birthday) Addy!

- Tehani (fleece nugget)

P.S. Andrew says Happy Birthday Dad!

Reactions

#1. Posted by Ann, John & Jackson Kent on November 12, 2016

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

(Sea Fever by John Masefield)


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