SEA Currents: s264
March 15, 2016
A Long, Long Time Ago
Sense-of-place is a concept frequently discussed aboard the Robert C. Seamans, and perspectives are often framed by individuals’ backgrounds and experiences. As a geologist, I believe that discussions of place ought to open along the lines of:
A long, long time ago.
March 14, 2016
Calling Home the Herd
Reindeer herders in the arctic are careful never to turn their animals loose for grazing for more than 3 days at a time, lest they sense the call of nature and revert to being untamed caribou.
This is an old and probably apocryphal story, but I think of it every time we bring the ship into port, and the carefully constructed clockwork of routines begins to spin down. Safe at the dock, the hourly business of sailing, navigation, and observation becomes less obviously urgent, and the call of terrestrial comforts grows ever louder.
March 13, 2016
Bye Bye Wellywood
Today at 1330 we left Wellington for the Cook Strait. Wellington has been one of my favorite cities so far. It was a bit gloomy on Thursday and Friday, but on Saturday the city bloomed. Every direction I walked in, there was something to see and do and eat. On Saturday I ate lunch down on the waterfront watching kids dive into the ocean. A cool diving platform had been built on the edge of the dock and kids were taking a plunge with impressive flips and tricks.
March 12, 2016
Beanbags and Bicycles: The Simple Pleasures of Being on Land
Hello from Wellington!
Today was our last full day in this beautiful city, as we leave for Dunedin tomorrow afternoon. It’s been a real treat to be here; for the past three days we’ve been wandering (and eating) our way through Wellington, a windy city with a relaxed and playful vibe. This morning, we were woken up for breakfast by Molly, Hoai-Nam, Madison, and Alina, who all jumped up to cook a yummy breakfast for the whole ship, as our amazing steward, Sarah, took a well-deserved day off.
March 10, 2016
Bless you, solid ground
It’s hard to believe that after 12 exhausting and rewarding days at sea, we’re finally on land. Real land! Yesterday afternoon, the Seamans was lucky enough to be personally welcomed into Wellington by a pod of dolphins. All of our past dolphin encounters had been from a distance, close enough to the ship to be visible by eye but far enough to use binoculars.
March 09, 2016
We left this morning from our anchorage in the entrance of Queen Charlotte Sound and finished off the longest section of our track from the Bay of Islands to Wellington! It was a 7 hour day from one spot to the next. All hands were called to deck at 1430 as we prepared for our big arrival. The sun was shining and as we got closer to land the wind died down and the deck got warmer.
March 08, 2016
Enjoying the present
Time is paradoxical at sea, or maybe just a liminal thing; somewhere in between being crucial to keep the ship functioning and blissfully irrelevant. On watch, deployments, hourly deck and lab records are kept and logged to the minute. Keeping track of time is crucial for the maintenance of the ship as well as the success of our research projects. When off watch, however, it’s kind of like a never ending wonderful day at the beach. You know, one of those days when all of a sudden you see the sun starting to set and think “wow, the day is already over?”
March 07, 2016
Living at the Edge
I’m a born adrenaline junkie. I’ve jumped off waterfalls as high as 50 feet, hung my fingers at the tip of a bridge, and climbed rocks among 10-foot crashing waves. Still to this day, every time I get my feet off the ground, an intoxicating adrenaline thrill gets my veins pumping blood faster than our ship sails with a 40-knot gale.
March 06, 2016
Good morning! Or afternoon! Or night? Wait what day even is it?
My morning began today at 6:00am. I woke up to “Hey Jill, its 6:00am, you have breakfast in 20 minutes. Its cold and windy outside so you should probably wear a few extra layers for watch”. After thinking about ignoring this and rolling back over in bed, I mustered the strength to get up only because the word breakfast was included in that sentence.
March 05, 2016
Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Brail
My night ended this morning at 0700 and began at noon, so not all that different from what I’m used to (college, am I right!?). Unlike college, my diet doesn’t consist of strictly ramen, and I don’t have to worry about scurvy. I’ve never eaten this much and moved this little. Yesterday we were given our deck practical exam, in which we had to demonstrate our familiarity with points of sail, emergency procedures, light configurations for when we’re sailing, motoring, and hove to, and the proper procedures for gybing.