SEA Currents: stanford@sea
June 08, 2017
Stanford@SEA: The Big Picture
You think about a lot of things while standing at the helm and steering a 140-foot-long tall ship. Like the drift of the swell that rocks the Seamans, my mind often wanders off over the horizon and into ill-explored territory. Lately, this has varied from wracking my brain for the lyrics to “Jessie’s Girl” to wondering whether anyone could make a wrap-up of all the news we’ve missed, Liz Lemon-style.
June 07, 2017
Stanford@SEA: Arrival at the Kingdom of Tonga
After 7 days at sea (8 if you go by the calendar), we have reached The Kingdom of Tonga. The ship’s calendar shifted at midnight and, just like that, June 6th never happened on the Robert C. Seamans. However, as some other posts have touched on, time morphs into a bizarre animal when rotating through watches, weather conditions, and the ocean’s restless motion.
June 05, 2017
Stanford@SEA: Field Day on the Seamans
“Help! I’ve been murdered by someone on the ship, somewhere on the ship, with a specific item!”
And with that, she collapsed on the quarter deck. The time was 14:37. A light breeze wafted through the 38 others gathered for ship’s meeting as the sky filled 7/8 full with cumulus clouds.
June 03, 2017
Stanford@SEA: Let’s Go Fishening
“You put your fingers in the gills like this and your thumb up on top. Then just rip the head off” John, the 18 year old Palmerstonian with a full, curly black beard, demonstrated the technique on a 12 inch long pink and silver parrot fish. Standing with waves breaking at our knees, Dylan, the engineer, and I tried and failed to repeat the process on two more parrot fish fish caught in the hand-woven net. Jon came over to show us again. We moved down the net repeating the process as we went.
June 02, 2017
We’ve just passed our halfway day for Stanford@SEA 2017. As a veteran of over 100 oceanographic voyages, some of them nearly 3 months long, I can tell you that such days are always cause for comment and sometimes cause for celebration. The halfway day is most often called “hump day”, suggestive of a certain eagerness to soon be done with the sea and all that voyaging upon it entails. Not so the mood on the Robert C. Seamans.
June 01, 2017
Stanford@SEA: Paradigm Shifts
Our voyage so far has been filled with surreal experiences. Jumping off the bowsprit into the open ocean and seeing only blue under your feet. Standing fifty feet aloft in the rigging, staring down over everything else. Watching whales surf the waves along our ship. One of the strangest experiences I’ve had so far, though, hasn’t been any sort of crazy ship shenanigan, but rather involves a certain Canadian TA named Andrew (who may alternatively be referred to as Princess, depending on your willingness to accept the name giving abilities of a six-year-old girl.
May 31, 2017
Stanford@SEA: A Teacher’s Perspective
Hello from your friendly neighborhood teaching assistant; feeling inspired and intimidated by the literary prowess of the ever-impressive Stanford undergraduates who have already contributed to this, the sole means by which we keep parents’ blood pressure down. We are once again underway, leaving behind the gem of an atoll on which I could wax poetic for hours had Hanna not already done so. So rather than paint the same word pictures the students have deftly crafted, I will instead attempt to spice up your reading material with perspectives from the most junior member of the teaching staff.
May 30, 2017
Stanford@SEA: Perspectives of Palmerston Island
A special little moment from May 26th thrown in:
May 26th 2017, Time: 1730
Perspectives from aloft:
I started this blog after spending an afternoon looking at the ocean from a slightly different perspective than I’ve become accustomed to on board Mama Seamans.
May 29, 2017
Stanford@SEA: A Day on Palmerston
“Greetings to our guests and their families around the world. May Jesus bless them all.” Nano Marsters calls with a smile from the front right corner of the Palmerston church. She wears a flowing orange dress and a white laced hat adorned with colorful flowers, through the window behind her, palm trees sway in the wind. The audience in attendance, about half from our ship and half from the island, filled the eight pew church on this sunny Sunday morning.
May 27, 2017
Stanford@SEA: Welcome to Palmerston
Today I woke up for morning watch anticipating a call of “Land ho!!” at some point in the following six hours. After three days at sea, today was the day we were to make it to our next island stop, a small island and coral atoll with, last we had heard, around 60 inhabitants. Nearing land, anticipation on the ship was high, as crew members lined the starboard rails, watching two small, metal boats belonging to local residents help the Robert C. Seamans navigate the reef and find a place to drop anchor.