SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
October 16, 2018
19°30.24’S 178°25.51’W Heading to Suva, Fiji
Ship’s Heading & Speed
Course ordered 275°, 6.5 knots
Force 6 East by South winds, seas from Southeast by East with a height of 8-10 ft. Completely overcast with 8/8 cloud covered sky by stratus clouds. Temperature of 24.5°C and barometer reading of 1017.1 mb.
Our second day underway to Fiji from Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai has been an exciting one weather wise. Long gone are the days of motor sailing under the stays'ls on smooth, glass-like waters. Last night on evening watch, 1900-0100, the wind was blowing force 5 and force 6 with gusts at 7. Pants, warm socks, long sleeves, fleeces, and warm hats were broken out much sooner than anyone expected, in order to fight the strong wind and dark night. I almost felt guilty about how excited I was for my fellow shipmates of A Watch to relieve us at 0100, as I was eagerly anticipating my bed and sleeping the morning away until I had watch again at 1300 the following day.
Our schedule while at sea was easy to fall back into, and much as I expected being a part of the "lazy watch" I spent my morning prior to today's afternoon watch sleeping and reading. With an entertaining watch meeting in which we played fax machine and checked in with our watch, we went to relieve B Watch. Conditions on deck were slightly less chilly than the night before even though the strong winds and rolling sea persisted. Christine and Farley tried to assure us that watch with them (this was only our third watch with our new watch officer and assistant scientist) wasn't always so exciting with so much sail handling and extreme weather, but I'm starting to doubt this. We gybed four times, each time when we were two nautical miles from our ordered track. This was done to bring our stern through the wind, creating a zigzag pattern along our ordered straight track since the wind made steering the course ordered impossible.
Additionally, under the direction of our scientist, Farley, we had to refurl the jib. This was an exciting endeavor in which myself, Joao, Charlotte, and Farley went out onto the head rig and refolded the sail located on the bow sprit while the wind whipped around us and the sea jumped up to greet us.
While this watch required much sail handling, I was actually supposed to be in the lab. While the weather may make sailing more exciting for the students, it has inhibited many of our science deployments. Aside from regular lab hourly reports and six minute observations, there wasn't much for us to do in lab today. I did however, with the help of our sailing intern Charlotte, create a haiku for Farley as per orders by A Watch:
There is a sailor
He is a rad scientist
His name is Farley
Probably not my best work, but haiku are harder than they seem when under pressure.
In other exciting news, today was our chief mate's birthday. Happy Birthday Allison! We got to enjoy some delicious carrot cake with cream cheese frosting in celebration thanks to our assistant steward of the day Fletcher. I'll have to get the recipe for you Dad 'cause I know you'd be jealous of it. As I sit here enjoying the amazing carrot cake writing a blog post attempting to give you all some insight to what our days at sea are like, my fellow ship mates (mostly led by Sam) have entered into a heated debate over a simple question that I think sums it up quite nicely: Is a hot dog a sandwhich? More from Mama Seamans to follow on this topic I'm sure but in case you were wondering: no, a hot dog is a hot dog, why can't we accept that? Feel free to comment with your opinions, we look forward to reading them.
Much love to the family and friends back home reading, I can't wait to share more stories of this adventure with you when I get home!
- Emily Settlecowski, C Watch, University of Denver