Stars and Pi and Bears Oh My

Author: Jenn Necker, C Watch, Eckerd College ‘21/University of Rhode Island

Necker post 2_2_small

In addition to many stunning sunsets and sunrises such as this one, our first night in Palmyra was perfectly clear allowing us to witness the ever illusive green flash. Many say it doesn’t exist, but we know better.

Ship's Log

Noon position
14˚25’N x 157˚28’W

Ship heading

 Ship speed


Weather and sail plan
partly cloudy with cumulus clouds, wind 14- 18kts, sailing north under a deep reef mains’l, mainstays’l, forestays’l, and the jib

Just beyond the halfway point between Palmyra and Hawaii

Souls on Board

Yesterday I spent all 24 hours of my birthday wide awake, starting from dawn watch all the way to the conclusion of evening watch. Taco Tuesday, brownie balls, smoothies, singing and so much more truly filled the day like no other. A beautiful sunrise just after a fantastic moonset followed by a gloriously temperate day. I want to thank all my shipmates for their smiles and making this a day one to remember. It was made even better by not breaking my habit of celebrating Pi day the day before. I don’t believe I have ever missed a Pi day.

This was our first evening before leaving Oahu. It is hard to believe it’s been a whole month since then. Ventilation on a ship without A/C is very important for many reasons which I will leave up to you to determine. I live below this “tuba,” as we affectionately call them. The dorades, what they’re actually called, funnel air below. When we change headings we go around and tack the tubas just as we do the sails to maximize airflow below.

While I didn’t get to dine on one of those frozen grocery store pies no one wants to admit that they love, we did have a fantastic Shepard’s pie aboard the ship. As we have continued to eat amazing food, I admire the work of the stewards in the galley. Not only do they cook up a mad storm every day, but they have managed to keep lettuce fresh this whole time. I just had my day as assistant steward where I got to learn some of the organization and thought that goes into feeding 30+ people with varying diets. Even as I write this I am enjoying 30+ homemade brownies and a smoothie (Cat even let me lick the frosting from the beater for my birthday)! In our free time, many of us are doing a lot of reading.

One book seems to have almost started a club as it is slowly getting passed through the ship spurring many conversations. Thanks Anna and Liv for the conversation and thoughts. It helps pass the time as we continue the trek northward which just sped back up yesterday. A newly stitched up forestays’l was set once more. We only hope it holds the rest of the way to Hawaii. Along the way we are slowly taking on more responsibility in our watches. We get to call maneuvers now and make adjustments as we see fit.

We have even been learning more about celestial navigation. The other night I helped calculate the exact time of “star frenzy.” That is when the stars and the horizon are both visible enough to get a reading with the sextant. It’s a crazy few minutes at most. Our dawn watch report was on a constellation of our choosing in which we taught everyone more about Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. I hold these constellations close to home thanks to the stories I heard growing up. A mother bear and her cub were chased by hunters when they came to a cliff. To escape the hunters, they jump into the sky only for the mother to be shot with an arrow. Now she bleeds forever filling the Big Dipper each year which turns and drains the color into the autumn leaves. I’ll leave you here with a hint that the Greek story for the constellations involves much more jealousy. Maybe you all will find the bears in the northern sky and look up the other stories.

Rollin with the waves,

Jenn Necker, C Watch, Eckerd College ‘21/University of Rhode Island

Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications, 508-444-1918 |

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  1. Julie Bremser March 17, 2022 at 12:01 - Reply

    Sounds like you had a great birthday Jenn! Pippa is ready to celebrate with you in Florida!!

  2. Rose March 17, 2022 at 17:04 - Reply

    Cool! Happy birthday! Hope to see you in prov or Boston sometime. More pictures, please, and be careful!

  3. Karin Brodbeck March 17, 2022 at 18:45 - Reply

    What a wonderful birthday! Though I had never heard the stories about Ursa Major and the Big Dipper and I am really upset !

  4. Anonymous March 18, 2022 at 00:32 - Reply

    Happy birthday. Glad the Ides of March favored you! Can’t wait to hear more of your adventures!

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