SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
April 24, 2018
Phase 3 Begins
27o 00.5’S x 157o 12.0’W
Ship’s Heading & Speed
025o per ship’s compass at 2.7 knots
Jib, forestays’l, mainstays’l, and mains’l
Warm and sunny with winds from the SxE
Today, we officially began the Junior Watch Officer (JWO) and Junior Lab Officer (JLO) phase of our voyage! As blog authors have mentioned before, the JWO/JLO phase is the time when students get to run their watches, which includes calling out orders to set and strike sails (after Captain Jay has commanded us to, of course), making entries in the log book, assigning fellow watch members different jobs, plotting our positions on the chart, calculating the time to shoot the sun around noon and the stars around morning and evening twilight to get a celestial fix, running deployments of scientific equipment, making sure samples get analyzed, and more. In the beginning, we only are the JWO/JLO for half the watch, but soon we will be in charge of a whole six-hour watch.
C Watch started off strong on morning watch with Haley leading us on deck followed by Emily meanwhile Sarah was the leader in lab followed by Lorena. To distinguish our watch leaders, the JWO wears a cow print vest with fringe at the bottom and a tie made from a piece of sail, meanwhile the JLO gets to wear a pair of rainbow suspenders. There are rumors that the JLO uniform used to be a tutu made out of an old neuston net, but apparently it is missing in action (perhaps to be replaced?!). The funniest part of the first JWO/JLO happened at the beginning when Haley and Sarah were meeting to discuss the events that needed to happen during our watch. As they talked, a large swell hit the side of the ship, dousing everyone on the quarterdeck, thus officially inducting them into leadership, or so we joked. As you might imagine, it can be overwhelming to realize you have to be in charge of running the deck and lab, but it was amazing to see C Watch rally around our JWOs/JLOs today!
I also had my second day in engineering during watch. Throughout our voyage, every student has had a couple opportunities to shadow the engineers, Henry and Shana, to learn more about their role on the ship. I got to help with their daily maintenance activities and with their large project of the day, trying to fix one of our reverse osmosis machines that creates freshwater for us. Don't worry, we have another one that is fully functioning! It works by filtering seawater through a succession of filters until it is pushed through a specialized membrane at a very high pressure to separate out freshwater from salty brine discharge.
By far the best part of my day was laying out in the headrig, which is the netting at the bow, with some other C Watchers this afternoon. After a high stress couple of days, it was nice to decompress by watching the sunset and talking and singing with friends while watching the ocean sweep by beneath us.
In C Watch fashion, I'm sending a huge chout-out to Dd, Mom, and Bub! I love you all and can't wait to tell you about my adventures in person!
Ashley (Shlee on the Sea) Davis, C Watch, University of South Carolina