SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
May 07, 2020
Party hats and cake all around!!!!
05 degrees 08.2’ N x 139 degrees 43.7’ W
Ship’s Heading & Speed
000T, 6.8 knots
Days underway and trip log
Day 30, 4496 nm
Wind SxE/SSE F3/4, Seas SSE 5-8 FT, Overcast skies 7/8 cover small rain squalls in area, motor-sailing at 1300 RPMs under the raffee, topsail, and main staysail
Description of location
1239 NM SE of the Southernmost tip of Hawaii (Big Island)
Today is officially 30 days since we left New Zealand! One of the ways we know that it's been 30 days is all of the music we had downloaded on our phones from Spotify has expired (a heavy sigh was heard around the ship). Some people have looked at what music they have on their computers and hard drives which has led to some great discoveries of playlists friends made them in high school and some rather eclectic assortment of "I listened to this at one time?" kind of music. Great finds!!
The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity around here!! We've been making our way north to warmer climates; It's been quite wonderful. We have surpassed 4000 miles and crossed from the Southern to the Northern Hemisphere! When we were getting close to crossing we hove the ship to and went for a swim. It was lovely drifting across the equator in 29C/84F water!
We even had special visitors come on the 5th!! King Neptune and his court came and separated all the Pollywogs on board and told them of their transgressions (there was some booing and hissing from his court of miscreants). Unfortunately all were found guilty (no surprise there). Neptune's legal representative asked if they were prepared to atone for their wrongdoings and willing to run a gauntlet to prove their worthiness to become Shellbacks and thankfully all agreed! Neptune and his court mysteriously disappeared as they came. The morning of the 6th Neptune sent the ship a wonderful breakfast for the Pollywogs he made himself!!! Tasty oatmeal of the sea! The Shellbacks had chicken and waffles which Neptune himself doesn't care for but is ok with Shellbacks eating it. That afternoon Neptune came back and it was time for the Pollywogs to run the gauntlet to prove their desire to become Shellbacks. Thankfully, everyone made it out unscathed and there are only Shellbacks on the Seamans now.
The tradition of the crossing the equator ceremony has been around for as long as people have gone to sea. Each ceremony is slightly different and we (Shellbacks) aren't supposed to talk about the specifics to people who haven't crossed (Pollywogs), but all involve going through an obstacle course on board, getting SOAKING wet from salt water, possibly some kind of food substance, and giving of some hair to the sea. A few hundred years
ago, the bosun would take a rusty barrel hoop, grind it down until it was sharp, and shave the heads of the Pollywogs. Glad to say we've gotten a little more sophisticated than that, we used the best scissors on the boat. After the ceremony a few people decided to take this opportunity to get a new hair style. They're looking quite good. We had cake after to celebrate the joyous occasion!
The weather has been quite nice, we've been having E-SE'ly winds and it's been anywhere from 25C/77F to 30C/85F. It's funny and welcomed to be cold when it's 25C/77F during dawn watch. I hope it doesn't get much chillier as we head more North. Today it's been overcast and we've had some small squalls develop which makes me think we are entering the ITCZ (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone). It's quite pretty but does leave things SUPER humid.
Soon we will be turning left to start our last leg of the voyage to Hawaii. A lot of talk around the ship has been what to expect when we get to Hawaii. We get regular updates on news and stuff about Hawaii and the Mainland but it's hard to know exactly what the world will look like when we get there. One thing is for sure, when we land in Hawaii all of us onboard will be different from when we left New Zealand.
The full moon is tonight. Last night I got some people howling at it. Must go and do that again tonight. It's not a proper full moon until you've howled at it a bit...
- Cassie Sleeper, Mate/bosun extraordinaire
P.S. Hi to my mom, brother, friends, and my KALMAR NYCKEL FAMILY!!! I hope you're enjoying our blogs and tracking our progress! It's nice to know that some people I know are reading this! We love reading everyone's comments on these blogs so keep doing it!! The office sends them every few days and we all talk about whose mom/aunt/dad commented. :D
P.P.S. Captain Lauren, I've told everyone here about your equator crossing banana situation; we all laughed.
Editor's Note: In response to the coronavirus pandemic, all SEA Semester students departed our ships on or before March 18, with modifications made to the cruise tracks to ensure swift travel home. A small, dedicated professional crew aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans is working in a closed community to return the ship to US waters. The crew complied with New Zealand's 14 day self-isolation period to establish & maintain crew health prior to departing on their open ocean passage.