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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans

March 13, 2014

S251 Weblog 13 March 2014

Evan Ridley, A Watch, University of Rhode Island


Above: Feel the heel! Jill, Levi, and Shoshana demonstrate their sea legs. Below, right: Underway: Brianna, Elaine, Cole, Patrick, Evan

Current Position
17° 47’ 24.00” S x 146° 11’ 02.40” W
Current Location
Bound away West for Tahiti
Course and Speed
Sailing 250° at 5.5 knots
Sail Plan
Under the 4 lowers and the Fisherman stays’l
Sunshine and fair winds

For the first time in what seems like a very long time, the Robert C. Seamans is moving with alacrity while entirely under sail.  After days of wind that would simply not cooperate, we’ve finally been blessed with a strong Force 3 that has us zipping along.  Since leaving Hao, it has been a game of ping pong as our course steered bounces up and down in order to remain five nautical miles from the scattering of atolls that make up the Southwestern portion of the Tuamotu Archipelago.  After having so many legs of this voyage where land was a non-existent sight at sea, it feels strange to look up every few hours and spot a new speck of palm trees off in the distance.  While those of us with time on our hands simply enjoy the view, working watches and their “Junior Watch Officers” work hard to take radar fixes and bearings on the chart to ensure that our view doesn’t get too close.  If you were to tell an outsider that our sea component was coming to a close in the next few days, they might not believe you.  Every last member of our shipboard community shows no signs of slowing down in the completion of their duties.  Students strike and set sails at a moment’s notice with the rigor and capability of seasoned sailors, the engineers are working away with constant intensity and our science teams are turning out deployment after deployment always with an eye on the next task. 


In addition, the galley makes sure everyone is meeting their daily ration of pamplemousse for snack.  Down time between watches often means writing papers, preparing projects and meeting with faculty as we all work hard to reach our goals.  Along with the loads of fresh fruit that each island gave us we also picked up a good deal of knowledge too.  It is exciting to see all of this information being applied to the many themes and theses of my fellow student.  While many milestones have already come and gone on our academic calendar it is safe to say that there is much more work that has yet to be done.  For the record, the view of the South Pacific on a sunny day with full sails is ten times more distracting than any classroom window I’ve ever sat by.  I don’t mind too much.

Thinking of my family back home on the Cape, I’ll be in touch ASAP! Best vibes to my brother Colin getting ready for baseball season in Florida and to Amanda out there somewhere in Appalachia helping those in need, Love you all!

- Evan




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