SEA Currents: s271
March 12, 2017
Our journey along the NZ coast has been shaped by the diverse perspectives, aspirations and experiences of SEA Semester students, crew and faculty aboard the Robert C. Seamans (RCS). We’ve found some common threads – an all-encompassing love for hot chocolate, for example (almost to the point of needing to ration said beverage – tragedy of the commons anyone?), or our general appreciation for swim calls a stone’s throw away from an active volcano.
March 11, 2017
NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmosphere
Yesterday was one of the best field trips yet, especially for the science nerds! NIWA, New Zealand’s version of NOAA, invited SEA Semester to tour their research vessel, RV Tangaroa, and their facilities in Wellington. NIWA was super generous, and a new connection for SEA was made.
March 09, 2017
A Rose’s Point of View: Zooplankton, Plants, and Souls
First off, I’d like to say a huge I love you to a rather wonderful man named Brett Phinney, as this marks our two year anniversary. I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to find you. I’m sorry we can’t spend this day together, but know that I’m still loving you and missing you from the other side of the world.
Now, on to the blog post.
March 08, 2017
Donuts, Tea and Clean Water
It is now Day 3 in Wellington and I am becoming quite attached to our temporary home here alongside Queen’s Wharf. Elliot chose a great place to dock the Seamans because we’re right next to a playground with a slide that must have been built for adults. It’s so tall. I was honestly scared to go down it at first but thanks to Sophie2 and Ben I finally conquered my fears. Our prime real estate got even more prime today when a mini-donut food truck decided to park on the sidewalk right by our boat. We’re all really hoping that it’ll stay a while.
March 07, 2017
The Soggy Socks Saga Continues…
Ah…let me begin by saying how lovely rain is. It is a mysterious thing. It has the power to slip into clothes and most annoyingly, you guessed it, my socks…again. We braved the Cook Strait (a.k.a. the vortex of doom…well…not really…but the ocean laughed at me when it sent a wave over the rail and soaked me). This trip has mostly been about trying to find new ways to keep my socks dry. Have not found a solution yet…I should just stop wearing socks altogether.
March 06, 2017
Happy Birthday, Mom!
We sailed through heavy winds the past couple days, but made it through Cook Strait last night and anchored in Port Underwood. Since we hadn’t seen land in 12 days, all hands were on deck celebrating as we pulled into the scenery; a sheep farm was up on the hillside, and birds were flying over the green cliffsides, swooping down towards the water. Much of our celebration was silent appreciation; some were cheering.
March 05, 2017
One Year Later
If someone had asked me one year ago what I thought I would be doing in a year’s time, ‘steering a boat all alone in the Pacific Ocean’ probably would’ve been one of my last guesses, but that’s where I found myself this morning. I applied to this program because I wanted to do something fun and unexpected and so far both requirements have been fulfilled. Since it seems like most other people have already covered the ‘fun’ part I’m going to talk about some of the things I didn’t expect.
March 04, 2017
Periodically throughout the day the watch schedule must be checked in order to know where you are to report ten minutes before your allotted shift.
Deck, Lab, Engineer, the dreaded Dish, or the once in a blue moon blessing from above (Sabrina) Steward.
My number fell under engineering on Thursday. 22 report to Clare. That’s me reporting to Clare for whatever the engine room may hold for me. When my mate and scientist learned I’d be in engineering they immediately made ooos and ahhhs of how lucky I was; Thursday is valve day.
March 03, 2017
Today was a big day aboard the Bobby C. Just passed noon we officially have sailed over 1000 nautical miles since leaving port in Auckland!!! Day 9 of our journey from Russell to Wellington and we are surrounded by the deep blue ocean on all sides with no land in sight. We’ve settled into our many routines: watch (six hours on, twelve hours off), eating (six meals a day), showering (every two days), sleeping (whenever possible), reading (when you can’t sleep), journaling (a way of life at sea) and tea time (with a spoonful of peanut butter because we don’t eat often enough).
March 02, 2017
Over the past couple of weeks that we’ve been on the ship, we’ve been (obviously) deploying a lot of equipment to investigate the local waters and wildlife. For instance, the neuston net tow allows us to gather organisms from the surface and just below. Perhaps therein lies the problem. I don’t know. But to cut the story short (as Ben talked a lot about them in yesterday’s blog), we’ve been catching a lot of salps. For, as Rose said recently, “there is nothing out here but gelatinous beasts.” 1,509 salps in the pristine bucket alone is nothing to laugh at.