SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
November 17, 2021
Ready for Research
Lat 31˚ 47.6’N x Lon 121˚ 17.7’W
Sailing under the Jib, Fore & Main Staysails, Topsail, and Mainsail, Winds Force 3 from the WNW, seas still a bit lumpy
We’re completely under sail! This morning we took the reef out of the mainsail and set the topsail for more power as the winds have eased. We’ll take in the topsail and heave to this afternoon to slow down and do our first science! I think we’re all excited to start working in the lab looking at critters, testing water, and reading data.
One of the main themes so far has been some bouts of seasickness, but today either the ocean is kinder or we’ve started gaining our sea legs, and everyone seems to feel a bit better. Up in the fo’c’sle (very front of the ship) where my bunk is, we’re getting quite the roller coaster ride and percussion as we ride the waves/swell and hit the water hard. I’ll admit this was a little disconcerting at first but I’m getting much more used to it.
Last night I was on watch from 1900 to 0100 (7 pm to 1 am) with the rest of B watch, and it was windy, a little rough, and chilly! We rotated taking the helm, doing boat checks, standing lookout, doing galley work, and so on. We got some good stars as the clouds cleared up throughout watch, and the moon was so bright we barely ever needed our lights. We saw some visiting dolphins up alongside the ship, which was a nice reminder that we’re maybe not as lonely as we seem. We’re only three days in, but land is out of sight and we’re getting more acquainted with the seas!
Another highlight is the delicious food. Last night was chicken soup and the most amazing focaccia I’ve ever had. Snacks in between meals are a good fun pattern I’ll definitely be continuing in six weeks when I’m back on land. These first few days have been incredible and stuffed with learning, and I can’t wait to continue getting to know the ship and crew and starting up our research!
- Oscar Hover, University of Washington, Seattle