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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans


May 04, 2016

May the Fourth be with you

Mickey Cavacas, Chief Engineer

Ocean Exploration

The crew setting the full mains’l for the first time

Noon Position
16° 35.0’S x 151° 08.7’W

Location
Halfway between Huahine and Raiatea

Ship Heading
218° T

Ship Speed
4 knots

Taffrail Log
3396.2 nm

Weather
Partly cloudy with occasional squalls, SE winds at F4

Sail Plan
Four lowers

Souls on Board

Photo Caption: the crew setting the full mains’l for the first time

Greetings readers, and May the Fourth be with you,

Today our majestic home is hove-to between the islands of Huahine and Raiatea and Taha’a. Because of the strong prevailing trade winds and the newly capable hands of the student crew onboard, we have arrived to the Iles Sous Le Vent (or leeward Society Islands) a couple of days ahead of schedule. As you heard yesterday, instead of puttering around killing time before our arrival to Raiatea on May 5, the Captain decided it would be worthwhile to drop our thousand pound anchor in a secluded bay on the west side of Huahine.

Following a quiet night at anchor, we hauled back all 4 shots of anchor chain (one shot is 90 feet, and each shot of chain weighs about 700 pounds. 700x4=2800 lbs!), and once more returned to that great big blue. Once we were back at sea, we positioned the ship over the deepest spot we could find for our last scientific wire deployment of the trip, the ever popular styro-cast. At the end of every trip everyone is invited to decorate a styrofoam coffee cup, which we send to the depths of the ocean. Because of the high pressure, when the cups come back to the surface, they have shrunk by about 80% and make a great souvenir. Isn’t science cool!?

Our plan is to continue sailing through the night, and to head towards the entrance to the Teavapiti Pass into the lagoon of Raiatea. It will be up to the students to get us to the right location safely and on time, because at first light tomorrow we plan to enter the lagoon and reach the town of Uturoa in time for our appointment with the French Polynesian customs officials. Spirits are high, and everyone is excited to see if they remember how to walk on stable ground.

You may have noticed that I am a bit of a numbers guy, which shouldn’t be too surprising for an engineer. Before I leave you, here are some statistics from our trip thus far:

  • we have drank, washed dishes with, washed ourselves with and otherwise consumed 14050 gallons of water, or about 13.8 gallons per person per day. A stark contrast to water usage on land, but in no way are we uncomfortable or unhygienic.
  • through our reverse osmosis watermakers, we have created 13525 gallons of fresh water from many more gallons of salt water.
  • we have used our generators to create 12362 kWh of electricity
  • and finally, perhaps best of all, we have sailed 2348 nautical miles, and motorsailed for just 1030 nautical miles, for a sailing percentage of 70%.

Pretty darn good considering the schedule we have to stick to in modern times!

That’s all for now, stay tuned to hear about our adventures on Raiatea in the coming days,

- Mickey

P.S.-The entire crew of the SSV Robert C. Seamans would like to wish a very Happy Birthday to Dr. Deb Goodwin! We hope you’re having a fantastic time in the Atlantic Ocean!

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: s265 • (0) Comments
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