SEA Currents: s276
November 28, 2017
Dear blog reader,
Today marks the beginning of our first phase change. Prior to today, our watch officers and assistant scientists were responsible for ensuring sailing and science were happening according to plan. In phase 1 we proved ourselves capable of taking on the next big challenge. What will this challenge look like?
November 27, 2017
Plastics in Our Oceans: We’re All in the Same Boat
Hello, dear reader!
Up until now, daily blog posts have covered life onboard our floating home/lab and the cultural research, science deployments, and sail handling—with the occasional relay race or poetic interlude thrown in to boot—that comprise our day-to-day on the Seamans. Today, however, S-276’s Conservation & Management class have the privilege of sharing some of the research we’ve been conducting in both Woods Hole and here in New Zealand (well, several hundred miles offshore, currently).
November 26, 2017
The Pinrail Chase: May the Best Watch Win!
Greetings from aboard the Robert C. Seamans, which is currently sailing northwards along the Kermadec Ridge! We were blessed with wonderfully sunny weather today - quite a stroke of luck, as we spent part of the day on the deck of the ship. Why, you may ask? Today was the PINRAIL CHASE, a lively inter-watch competition to see which of the three watches had best mastered the ship’s lines and their locations.
November 25, 2017
Useful Tip: It’s All About the Wide Stance
As I write this, the Seamans is sailing over thousands of meters of water!!! S-276 is extremely fortunate to be sailing over the Kermadec Ridge on our journey northward to Raoul. Our constantly sounding CHIRP instrument (which is pretty annoying) has been gathering data on the bathymetry (topography for the layman) of the ocean floor beneath us. So far we’ve sailed over some sea mountains and the saddle (the highest point) of the Kermadec Ridge which then drops to over 10,000 meters deep at its lowest point!!
November 24, 2017
Poem for C-Watch
at night we sail ‘cross a mountainous seat
elusive sea dragon in plankton tow
all silver blue frills and lace spreading feet
a nudibranch clinging o’er depths below
November 22, 2017
A Sailor Survey
As we settle into a comfortable routine and get accustomed to the constant rocks and rolls of the boat, our focus can shift from some of us trying to keep our lunches down (there are fewer new members of the Fish Feeders Club every day) towards navigation, science deployments, and group discussions on cultural heritage. Our watch groups have been setting and striking sails, working in the labs and eating as one unit, so it’s fair to say we are getting to know each other pretty well.
November 21, 2017
Science Rules !!
Good morning land dwellers!
The residents of Robert C. Seamans have lots to report as we start to fall into the rhythm of life at sea and are beginning to find our sea legs. It was looking pretty rocky for a while as the leeward side (lower side of the boat) seemed to be constantly crowded with seasick-plagued sailors, the “fish feeding club”. Our Oceans and Global Change professor, Kerry, comforted us by saying we were “feeding the microbial loop”. Ginger themed snacks and constant reminders to stay hydrated are commonly topics these days.
November 20, 2017
Oops, We Forgot to Write the Blog Yesterday
Hello from the open ocean!
It’s official, there is no land in sight. Just us and blue and gray for miles and miles, plus the occasional NZ Navy helicopter or the fancy cruise ship or 180-meter cargo on our radar. But, if we’re being honest, amidst lots of throwing up and a (literally) bumpy adjustment to life underway, S-276 forgot to write the blog yesterday. So, reader, travel back in time with me to Monday, November 20, 2017 at 1430 South Pacific time.
November 19, 2017
Life at Anchor
Today is our last day at anchor before we set out for a three week sail to the Kermedec Islands and back! Both students and crew are taking advantage of land while we still can, heading ashore in groups to stretch our legs, buy back-up stocks of toothpaste, and explore the quaint town of Russell. Meanwhile, Conservation and Management students are looking for local Kiwis to interview. Our class has focused on studying the use of single-use plastics in the States, particularly Falmouth, Mass.
November 18, 2017
Another Field Trip!
Today was our second day anchored off of Russell and we took a field trip to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. Many of us wore full yellow foul weather gear to stay dry in the rain, which resulted in many confused looks and inquiries as to why we were dressed like banana slugs.