SEA Currents: s270
December 10, 2016
A Rugged Wild Coastline
The past few days of coastal sailing brings new a different challenges as well as joys to us onboard the R.C. Seamans. In one watch cycle I went from seeing not a single light at night to monitoring multiple lights from other ships, lighthouses, and navigation aids. Three weeks at sea, and we thought we were experts, but now with shoals to watch for, land and lights to take bearings off of, and other ships to navigate around, we feel like novices again.
December 09, 2016
As we approach our anchorage, a pod of spinner dolphins dance in the bow. This is maybe the sixth marine mammal sighting today and it never ceases to amaze all onboard. Watching these beautiful moment I recount the eventful day I had before this. I am on A watch and we had the 0700 watch this morning. This was not a normal watch for myself nor my fellow A watchers as I am the first JWO for our watch.
December 08, 2016
Today was a day filled with animals and true signs that land is near. The day was windy, twenty knots, and cool for most of the day, but that did not stop the animals from showing themselves. First there was an albatross sighting. Then we had whale spouts. The whales were not close enough or the spouts high enough out of the water to identify what species they were. And so the morning watch, my watch, carried on, including a deployment from the stern winch.
December 07, 2016
Whale of a Day
Cheers and shouts filled the air this morning as a small group of whales surfaced so close to the ship! It was almost as though they wanted to swim along with us for a bit. What an incredible sight, the water from their breath condensing into a bursting cloud above the water! These are the stories that I hear when I came up from the engine room this morning. I had just missed it, but the excitement was palpable. The whales were sei whales, small baleen whales that normally are more solitary.
December 06, 2016
Excerpts from my Journal
November 13 , 18:30
Apprehensive but excited. Very excited to disconnect from the FOMO I have been experiencing all semester. This may be late, but its finally here and I am ready to take it on, lah lah lah.
November 17, 10:52
I should probably shower today, I haven’t since Dunedin. Today turned out to be one of the best days probably of life. Since we were tucked in our little alcove, away from the gusting winds, conditions were favorable for swimming!
December 05, 2016
As part of fully learning about living aboard the SSV Seamans, students and sailing interns get to take turns being the shadowing the steward and engineers. I had the pleasure of being assistant steward yesterday, which meant planning out the all the day’s meals and snacks with our steward, Chris. Instead of standing on my two watch shifts, I got to help out in the galley all day. Possibly my favorite thing we made yesterday were the blueberry scones for morning snack.
December 04, 2016
We Live Half in the Daytime and Half at Night
Namaste from the Brigantine! I am here to tell you a little more about how we live at the sea.
B watch woke up at 6000 hours for their watch today. Do you think that’s early? Well, A watch woke up at 1230 hours. But wait! C watch woke up at 1800 hrs yesterday. We run on a 6 hours on and 12 hours off schedule, constantly resetting our sleep times and squeezing in little naps. “Waking up early” and “late bedtimes” are just concepts to us that we left behind on land.
December 03, 2016
Mountains and Waves
Today was our third Field Day onboard – our weekly deep clean of the ship, and we have emerged victorious having defeated another invasion of mung. As the steward onboard, I have the rare opportunity to take the deck during Field Day – as the students are busy scrubbing, “O watch” (consisting of the Captain and the Steward) steer the vessel and attend to regular deck duties. I cherish this time at the helm and in the company of Captain Pamela each week.
December 02, 2016
Venus and a sliver of the moon are shining bright tonight. We are at the midpoint of our passage, where we have all found a rhythm on the Brigantine, where we are becoming more and more a part of the vessel and each other’s lives, whether we know it or not. We are traveling south now which means that we are in the second part of our passage.
December 01, 2016
Peanut Butter Provisions
We go to sea in order to answer questions. What’s it like on the high seas? How many brilliant sunsets and crystal clear nights can we enjoy in six weeks? How stinky can thirty four people get? Is there a point when we stop noticing the smell? While my shipmates have already answered many of these questions for you, today I set out to answer two more rather specific ones.