SEA Currents: s261
July 14, 2015
We have now been sailing, or rather motoring, in the Robert C. Seamans for a week now. During my first week aboard, I have been able to experience many of the jobs that are needed in order for the ship to move and function properly. I have had the opportunity to be assistant steward in the galley, lookout at the bow, helmsman, and many others. Of all the positions I have had, by far, my favorite is being lookout.
July 13, 2015
A Typical Day
An average day is hard to come by and is surely not missed. In this first week aboard the crew and myself have learned to sail and handle this ship as well as perform the scientific deployments and processing needed for our research. These are the basics - though they might seem like more - but all throughout these days I’ve had other experiences galore. One day was with our main engineer where I learned about the engines and the build of the ship, then promptly after applied these skills to help fix a leak on our starboard generator.
July 12, 2015
Finding Our Sea Legs
After nearly a week aboard the Seamans, it would appear that all of us neophytes are finally getting over the initial shock of the pitch, yawl, roll and the three other motions of this dynamic ship. Sleep has been easier to come by as we all have a better grasp the consistently varying schedules demanded by our watch rotation. The friendly competition of a line chase (sort of like a scavenger hunt meets a relay race, where each watch group is to find each line on deck by name) proved that we are grasping an understanding of the, initially intimidating yet now seemingly basic mechanisms, behind setting and striking sail.
July 11, 2015
Time aboard is strange and fragmented. It is hard to believe that it has been less than 4 full days of sailing, and only one full watch rotation. Every time I awake in my top bunk, it feels like a new day, yet we sleep in 3-4 hour increments, interrupted by watches and meals. This afternoon marks Port watch’s seventh watch, which will log our next 6 hours in control of the ship, totaling 34 hours so far.
July 10, 2015
The Natural World Above
The last rays of sunlight depart,
Venus rises, along with Scorpio’s red heart.
Milky white slowly stretches across the sky, & the position of the Summer Triangle flies high.
Great Dipper’s ladle arches to Arcturus, Spica appears, and the Virgin’s stars flourish.
Draco slithers amidst the darkening horizon, While the legs of Leo leap into an elegant run.
An elusive glimmer flicks among Altair,
And we finally understand the beauty of a sky so rare.
July 08, 2015
Steering & Shipmates
The day was introduced to me by a soft voice telling of a strong breeze and cloudy stars. Water swirled in and out of the porthole above my bunk as I secured a harness around my waist and climbed the pitching stairs to be given responsibility. In a rapidly-passing four-hour dawn watch, there is much to be done; I took the helm, hands twirling a classic wooden-spoked steering wheel, pulling 180° on the swaying compass towards center-line.
July 07, 2015
PIPA, S-261, Gets Underway
The start to our voyage could not have been more propitious. The wind blowing down the mountains overlooking Honolulu was of right direction and strength to allow us to set a topsail while only ship’s length away from the pier and sail out of the busy harbor in high style. The chain of Hawaiian Islands act like rocks in a river and squeeze the moving air so that, like fluid water, it spills between the gaps in jets of faster winds.
July 06, 2015
Welcome Aboard, S-261!
All the students and crew of S-261 are safely aboard the Robert C. Seamans in Honolulu, HI. The ship will spend several hours conducting pre-sailing drills and safety orientations before getting underway on the afternoon of July 7. Give them a day or two to get their sea legs, then watch this space for updates on their voyage.
July 03, 2015
SEA Semester S-261, Protecting the Phoenix Islands
The students of class S-261, Protecting the Phoenix Islands, will join the SSV Robert C. Seamans by Monday, July 6th, in Honolulu, Hawaii. After an extended stay in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, they will end their voyage around Friday, August 14th, in American Samoa.