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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans

March 22, 2016

Where are we?

Jenna Lilly, A Watch, Colgate University

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Sunrise while in Dunedin

Current Position
45° 03.01’S x 171° 48.93’E

offshore SE South Island

Speed over ground

Course ordered
021 PSC

Sail Plan

15°C, some cirrus and stratus clouds, ENE winds at 2-3 kts, last good weather until a cold frontal passage within the next 18 hours.

Souls on Board

Kia ora family and friends of all us salty sailors on the Bobby C!

After standing in awe of the sunrise over the Otago Peninsula this morning, we departed Dunedin and made our way through the narrow channel back out into the South Pacific Ocean, and on our way to Lyttleton. As a student of nautical science and geography, I am always interested in the numerous charts that aid us in our travels through bays and sounds and in the vast ocean around New Zealand. Maps are also a topic of interest for our esteemed dinner guest, Hauiti Hakopa, who Maggie mentioned the other day. He is a GIS and Māori knowledge expert, and because one of my projects deals with this very subject, I interviewed him when he visited. Something he said about grounding researchers in their cultural, geographic and genealogical place reminded me of our visit to the Ngāti Whātua Ōrakei marae in Auckland. One of our hosts told us that there are three questions you can ask when meeting a new person (especially when trying to determine if they are friend or foe):

  1. Grab hold of your genealogical past.—In other words, where are you from genealogically? Who are your ancestors and family?
  2. Who are you?—What is your character? Your culture? Your placement in the broader scheme of things?
  3. Where are you going?—What are you striving for in life?

Recently I have been thinking about these questions, and what they mean for us as the crew of the Robert C. Seamans.

Where are you from: All 36 of us on board are from 36 different places and have 36 different histories and 36 different collections of family and friends. But on the ship, we are one family. Now that our stories are intertwined, our genealogies are all connected. We rely on each other constantly, and must be a united front for most if not all ship operations. Our lineage consists of the webs of family and friends who influenced us and brought us all here, but it also includes all of the classes of students who came before us. Soon, we will be a part of the ancestry of the next group of daring students to set foot on the Seamans.

Who are you: We are a collection of personalities, spirit animals, sailors, goof balls, and leaders. We are no longer average Americans—we are versed in the ways of ship culture and find happiness in a strong wind filling our sails, a clear starry night, and good homemade bread. We deeply care about and study the realm of Neptune, and we feel humbled in our place between the endless sky and sea. We are the phytoplankton of the universe.

Where are you going: Technically our end goal as a group is to arrive in Lyttleton on Thursday. However, none of us are stopping there. Many of us will be travelling in New Zealand and Australia in the coming weeks, or will be returning to school. As individuals, we have unique dreams in life, bucket list items we want to complete, different academic interests and hobbies. As a group, we share a passion for the environment and the natural world around us, and are striving to see healthy oceans and a better world.

All our paths may not cross at the same latitude and longitude again, but we will always have memories of our home on the sea.

- Jenna

P.S. Hi family! Mom, please don’t be upset about my new ‘do. Beth, please remind Matt to read the blog, I am super excited to read your letter, and I am SO proud of you for getting into more colleges than I even applied to. Also, happy 4 months, DK! I can’t wait until you get to NZ. I miss and love you all!

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s264  life at sea • (1) Comments


#1. Posted by David Siqueiros on March 24, 2016

Nice post and photo Jenna. Amazing trip and I can’t wait to see you and hear about i first hand. XO Uncle Dave LOL



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