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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans

December 18, 2014

What’s cookin’ on the RCS

Ben Ahlvin, Assistant Engineer

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

RCS underway under sail during a man overboard drill earlier in December; photo taken from the rescue boat after retrieving emergency gear.

Current Position
42° 47.2’S x 173° 50.9’E

Beautiful sunset, complete with dolphins playing in the bow wake!

Sail Plan & Course/Speed
Motorsailing towards Wellington under main stays’l and fore stays’l, 066°T at 5.8 knots

Hey everyone, Ben the Assistant Engineer here. Checking in and bringing you an update on the current status of the good ship Robert C. Seamans as we make our way north on the last leg of S256. Everything seems to be switching to end-of-trip mode—the students are spending every free moment finishing up homework and projects, and the professional crew are already preparing lists of projects to accomplish during the next port stop and turnaround period. The Junior Watch Officer and Junior Lab Officer rotations are in full swing, and just today we had an announcement that our final swizzle is around the corner and we should start to get our proverbial acts together.

Tomorrow we will get to experience another time-honored tradition: Staff In The Galley Day, in which we honor our cook Vickie by giving her the day off. Thanks for all of your hard work, Vickie! Hopefully she won’t be too nervous about the professional crew running amok in her galley all day long. Various staff members have volunteered for different meals and snacks, and it is sure to be a memorable day. Today saw the crew wheeling and dealing with one another to get dibs on the best meal and snack slots that fit into our crazy schedules, as well as trying to coordinate a cohesive day’s worth of food—not an easy task. At one point it was looking like morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner would all be dishes based on marinara sauce, but cooler heads have prevailed and the current plans call for a little more variety.

For me, taking a turn to cook a meal on a boat is a short and stressful glance into one of the hardest jobs aboard. Every meal has to be done exactly on time because the mealtimes are so short and people need to be ready to go on watch. Every crew member’s allergy and food needs have to be considered with each item, so every dish must have vegetarian/gluten free/etc. versions prepared. All of this in a pitching and rolling galley,
with provisions scattered all over the ship, day in and day out—it’s a tough job and we’re super lucky to have Vickie here taking care of us.  Here’s hoping tomorrow goes well and that the rest of the lunch crew and I don’t
burn the enchiladas!

P.S. Props to all the excellent sea cooks and land cooks of adventures past, and happy holidays to everyone back home! Travel safe and enjoy each other’s company!

- Ben

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s256 • (2) Comments
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#1. Posted by Alice Harra on December 22, 2014

Hi Nick and the cast/crew of Robert C. Seamans,

Best wishes as you get ready to find safe harbor and leave for the holidays.  I have loved reading your blog and adventures - amazing and life-changing stuff.

Happy Solstice to all - you are in an incredible place for the longest night of the year, with dark skies and million stars.  Enjoy—

Nick’s mom, Alice

#2. Posted by Nick Matesanz on December 22, 2014

Dear Nick,

I am not totally sure I’m doing this right but I hope you get this wish for a great evening of Solstice - the stars in the NZ sky must be amazing.

Thinking of you every day, reading the ship’s blog, and counting the days until you can recount these adventures to us back at home.

Love, Mom



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