SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
February 10, 2014
S251 Weblog 10 February 2014
15° 07.4’S x 143° 43.4‘W
Course and Speed: 040° at 7.3kts
Motoring with the Mainsl, mainstaysl, and forestaysl
Sunny and warm with passing squalls
Today has been our first full day of sailing since departing Fakarava. Although some of us are still dealing with seasickness, we all have quickly returned to the routines of life at sea. The watch schedule is in full effect and things have gone off without a hitch. For those who may not know how the watch schedule works, it really is quite simple once you get used to it. There are 5 watches throughout the day: 2 six-hour watches during the day and 3 four-hour watches at night. We are divided into 3 watch groups A, B, and C each with a mate and scientist, and rotate through the watch schedule. For example, C watch had dawn watch this morning (0300-0700), will have evening watch tonight (1900-2300), morning watch tomorrow (0700-1300), and so on.
On the science side of things, C watch spent the dawn watch processing chlorophyll A and pH samples, as well as looking at organismscaptured in our Neuston tow from overnight. A watch spent the morning doing a hydrocast, collecting samples from as deep as 600 meters as well as another Neuston tow.
After motoring for most of yesterday and this morning, the winds picked up in our favor and allowed us to do some sailing. Today has been really our first fully sunny day since arriving in Fakarava last Wednesday and we are all taking advantage of it, whether it was through sailing or finally doing laundry. During the afternoon, we sailed under five sails: the mainsl, mainstaysl, forestaysl, jib, and JT. In the charthouse, we have been working on charting our position using dead reckoning instead of the GPS and we are all working on our first Nautical Science assignment on board: a skills checklist due Wednesday. Completion of this checklist will allow us to go aloft in the coming days.
This afternoon we had a little surprise before afternoon class as a ships company. Cries of MAN-OVERBOARD called out, luckily followed by this is a drill. We went through a full man-overboard drill, including deploying man-overboard poles and rescuing the wayward bumper. After this surprise, we gathered for class. We heard announcements as well as reports on the engines, science news, and weather. We ended with a long discussion on our recent visit to Fakarava.
We ended class as a squall came through and we began to transition back to motor-sailing. As our sea legs come back more and more, there is excitement about our next few days of sailing as well as our arrival in Nuku Hiva at the end of the week.