SEA Currents: s258
April 03, 2015
Through Time and Space
If you could have a day to repeat, a day to live through again, which day would you choose? That question was posed to the students of S258 this afternoon by the Golden Dragon, the majestic guardian of the 180° meridian and the International Date Line. As Arthur ably told you yesterday, time is both integral to the life of the ship and entirely arbitrary, and we all took this afternoon’s class as an opportunity to celebrate, be a little silly, and mark this unique experience of traveling back through time to live a day over again.
April 03, 2015
Time: A Human Invention of Great Use at Sea
Today marks the first 24 hour period that we will observe as the 3rd of April. How is this possible? Tonight we will cross the International Date Line, which, unlike the equator, tropics, or ant/arctic circles, does not represent any change in natural phenomena. It is rather the other side of the prime meridian (itself an arbitrary line) that runs through Greenwich, England. Although it is arbitrary, the Date Line is important because of our attention to time.
April 02, 2015
The First Sun
Today we were privy to the very first sunrise that April second would see. The International Dateline takes an easterly dip to avoid cutting the Chatham Islands off from mainland New Zealand time, putting it on the cutting edge of every new day. Anchored in Waitangi Bay this morning, the dawn watch’s numbers were nearly tripled as camera wielding sailors rushed the quarterdeck to bear witness to the first sun. I found a personal connection with this particular golden explosion of light.
April 01, 2015
An Unexpected Adventure (and Happy April Fools!)
There’s something special about lying in the grass knowing you won’t see it for another three and a half weeks or so. Sitting in the middle of a stunning landscape of rolling hills, soaking up the sunshine and, more importantly, experiencing correct inner ear alignment, really gave me an appreciation for land – for solid ground – that I didn’t have before. This is especially true when that land is the bizarre yet mesmerizing terrain of the Chatham Islands.
March 31, 2015
The Chatham Islands: Land of Rainbows, Sheep, and Abalone
Sleeping on still water never felt so good. So good in fact, that I did not hear my shipmate Ari wake me up for dock watch at 0300. Even though watch was only an hour, I tried my best to keep myself awake with boat checks and weather observations. Let’s just say it was not the easiest of mornings. After breakfast, B Watch prepared to start a dawn cleanup of the ship. I had my gloves on ready to tackle the head (a.k.a the bathroom) when Captain called us up on deck.
March 31, 2015
Chatham Islands port stop
The Robert C. Seamans has arrived at Chatham Islands. They have a busy slate of field trips planned for their time there, so while it may be a day or two before they send us a new blog post, rest assured that all is well with S-258.
March 30, 2015
Sciencing to the MAX!
Today marks just our 3rd full day out on the open seas! The Chatham Rise has treated us well, and in my case, has really put the world into perspective. The Pacific is a huge place! We’ve currently travelled over 400 nautical miles by pure sail and are due to touchdown in the Chatham Islands this evening! Weather has had its ups and downs; last night we cruised right on through a squall with winds/seas of a Beaufort Force 7 (look it up if you don’t know what I mean!). It was quite the experience to be at the helm trying to maintain course with rain pelting my eyes and waves rocking and rolling everywhere.
March 29, 2015
Stars and Glowing Seas
I’ve been wanting to sail with SEA ever since I lived next door to their headquarters in Woods Hole when I was a Masters student in the US. I was delighted to get an email through from work back in December, asking for volunteers to join the ship and especially delighted to be able to go back to the Chatham Islands. This time next week, I’ll be back at home in Dunedin, New Zealand, and the Pacific Ocean will seem like a dream.
March 28, 2015
We’re finally eating
In just three days, we’ve become well adapted to life on the Mama Seamans. Most of us students have officially developed our sea legs and are gradually transitioning our eating habits from grazing on saltines and bread to scarfing down generous amounts of gumbo and salad. We’ve never talked about how good it is to eat and keep it down until now. Thank goodness for sea sickness medication!
March 27, 2015
Our first full day on-board and everyone is just starting to get accustomed to standing watch, working in the lab, the sporadic sleep schedules, and the constant rolling motion of Mama Seamans. We have learned so much in the past few days, allowing everyone to jump right into all of the roles onboard. I am so impressed with all of the hard work and dedication of my fellow shipmates. The support everyone has for each other as we slowly adjust to ship life is unmatched, and the community here is growing strong.