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SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans

October 31, 2018

Spooky Seamans Shenanigans

Emily Settlecowski, C Watch, University of Denver


The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Current Position
32°39.415’S x 175°10.580’E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
Course ordered: 170°, 5kts

Force 6 Winds from SSW, 10ft seas from SW, 1015 Barometer, 17.9°C

Souls on board

Happy Halloween! Like most things, I've learned Halloween is better at sea than on land. My Halloween started off early as I was on evening watch from 1900-0100, so along with my fellow C-watchers I brought in Halloween on deck. Expectations were high for what our shipmates would be able to pull off as far as costumes since it's been a chilly few days and we've been rolling quite a bit. Farley didn't disappoint in a penguin costume with huge plastic eyes that are quite scary under red light. Just ask Ryan, Farley scared him pretty good coming up the stairs of the lobby pre-dawn watch. Sam and Cam rocked amazing ugly Halloween sweater vests and Glenn showed up in a Halloween themed, embroidered denim shirt. Dietrich's long anticipated lighthouse costume made an appearance as well- bringing full circle his nickname "Dietrich the Lighthouse." The day just got better from there. Around every corner was candy and sweets. King size of all the best candy bars, decorate your own cupcakes, and hot chocolate with ghost peeps courtesy of our very kind assistant scientist Helen's mom.

Although Halloween is often an excuse to set loose while on land, at sea there are still many important details of sailing a ship that need to be maintained. Today I was on afternoon watch (1300-1900). I spent my day split between working in the lab and helping out on deck. As the wind picks up and comes from the southwest, the air is getting colder and the swells are getting larger. I spent an exciting few hours in our wet lab trying to wet sieve soil samples I have been collecting much to the locals' amusement along the way. True to my procrastinating nature, I was down to the wire to complete the processing of my samples. As we get closer and closer to New Zealand my samples become more and more endangered to being thrown overboard as New Zealand has the strictest biosecurity guidelines in the world. Naturally I have chosen the point in our trip when standing in the wet lab precariously balancing sieves stacked atop one another is most difficult. All I can say is that I successfully completed my processing albeit with some error and many bruises. Totally worth it though because for some strange reason, soil is pretty fascinating to me and it was exciting to get to collect, process and interpret all my own samples.

Following dinner post watch all was as it usually was. The on watch was cleaning the galley, people were reading, working, and just hanging out in the main salon when things started to get strange (Halloween-type strange). First the galley clean-up was halted in order to heave-to. This seemed strange since we had been under pressure to make ground the last few days. Next the students were informed to gather in the main salon. Everyone's alarm bells were going off; this was very out of the norm. I'll just let the folks know at home, everything was alright, don't start panicking yet. It just so happens that the Robert C. Seamans is haunted.

To everyone reading back home, love you and miss you lots!

- Emily Settlecowski, C Watch, University of Denver

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