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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans

July 12, 2014

MOCHNESS + Pilot Whales

Mackenzie Haberman, A Watch, Chief Mate, Cheez-It-enthusiast


Above: MOCNESS making her debut appearance (photo courtesy of Tane Sinclair-Taylor). Below: A Pilot Whale off the Starboard bow!!

1° 45’ 14.40” N x 168° 18’ 40.80” W


Sail Plan
Four lowers, JT and Fisherman. Booking it!!

Sunny with the chance of a swim call!

I’m not going to lie, today has been BUSY! Saturdays really are full of fun, learning and aquatic treats. Today started out for A Watch with a fast paced morning watch, sailing under all fore and aft sails up until our science station at 0900.  The much anticipated MOCNESS made its first foray into the depths for this trip with a 400 meter tow, cumulatively taking about two hours of towing time. Molly and Erik did some spot on steering, with over a mile of wire over the side. She looked like a mythical creature with all five black nets billowing in the speedy 3 knot breeze as the Seamans charged along at her towing speed.

Just after the net was recovered, a sleek black shape was spotted off the Port beam. Pilot whales! Excitement exploded throughout the ship as much of the ship’s company came to peer over the rail at the first charismatic megafauna we have seen on this voyage. The small pod appeared to have four individuals including one calf that played in our stern wake for a while. Their song was audible to those of us standing on the quarterdeck, as a series of chirps and squeaks, which we met with mirrored enthusiasm and sound effects from the ship’s crew.


Going off-watch on a sun-drenched high, we gloried in another stellar lunch from Nina, our amazing steward. A few beats later the ship’s company was called to the Quarterdeck for the start of Field Day! This weekly ritual allows us some time to give back to the ship and clean all her hard to reach crevices.  During this time old tradition, we break into watches, each claiming a compartment of the ship for ‘decontamination.’ This battle against the always encroaching filth is made easier with show-tunes and candy. Well, really, each watch can chose their own tunes, and thank goodness show tunes were in limited supply.  Dancing and elbow-grease lent the ships company ample energy in keeping our ship safe, healthy and happy.

As if the day could get any better, the conditions were calm enough to allow a much anticipated swim call! The open ocean-swim call is a rarity even among the seasoned sailor, because conditions must be benign and yet beautiful! Once the rules of the pool were explained, our exuberant crew happily leapt in the water to play in the spray.  Many thought that someone might have peed in the pool as it was so warm, but really it’s just our rapid approach to the equator.  Most individuals of the ship’s company are still considered ‘pollywogs,’ that have yet to cross the line into the southern hemisphere. We are looking forward to welcoming them into the ranks of “shellbacks!”

- Mackenzie

PS. Mamasha and papasha, I kind of miss you. Don’t let it go to your heads! Looking forward to some celebration at home! Little squirrel, I miss you. Save me an acorn. COLS, Happy flipping birthday (yesterday. Wait, was it yesterday? It’s a hard day to remember)

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s254  science  sailing  megafauna • (0) Comments
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