Dreaming About Pin Rails

February 21, 2024

Author: Delphine Demaisy, C Watch, College of the Atlantic


Ship's Log

February 19, 2024Position: 38deg26.860'S ; 178deg33.080'EHeading: 215Speed: 6.9 knotsWeather: Today's weather was enjoyable with winds coming from the NNW with an average of 4 on the Beaufort scale. Sea conditions were also favorable, ranging from 2 to 5 on the Beaufort scale. The pressure remained high throughout the day, and cloud coverage decreased considerably from 7/8 to 1/8.

Kia ora friends, families, and blog readers!It has probably been a couple of days since you have had some news from theRobert C. Seamans. I am here to tell you that all is good and that the wholeship's company has had a great time getting underway in Aotearoa New Zealand(ANZ) in the past couple of days. We officially left Auckland Harbor at 0800on February the 16th, and have been making our way south, cruising along theEast Coast of the North Island. These past days have been extremely excitingas all students are slowly getting oriented to the ship and to the lifestyleof 6 hour watches. While this acclamation has been gradual, we are learningtons of new information every day.Our first day underway was extremely memorable; starting with a spat of rainand moderate sea conditions, spending the afternoon with spinner dolphinsriding off the bowsprit, and ending the day with a swim call while anchoredin the beautiful turquoise water of the Hauraki Gulf. This first dayunderway seems like a lifetime ago, as we have since sailed a long way,gotten to know our ship better, stood our first full watches, and done ourfirst few science deployments.Tomorrow is a big day, and all of us students have been working hard tolearn our sails and memorize the 80 pin rails that hold the lines that allowus to maneuver our sails to take advantage of the wind, and cruise smoothlyalong the deep blue waves of the South Pacific Ocean. All of us have beenwalking fore and aft the ship, talking to ourselves and repeating the namesof the pin rails as we see the lines, imagining ourselves hauling, tackingor bracing sails. I have no doubt that some of us will be repeating thosenames until we fall asleep in our bunks tonight, dreaming about winning thepin rail chase that will take place tomorrow.Today has been exciting and amazing, just like every day I have spent in ANZso far.  As part of C Watch, I got woken up at 0600 this morning to standmorning watch and to get ready and head to the main salon at 0620 for adelicious breakfast prepared by out two stewards and assistant studentsteward in the galley. By 0700, our watch relieved B watch on deck, who hadbeen standing the dawn watch since 0100. We took the watch on a starboardtack under the jib, fore stays'l, main stays'l and tops'l, as the favorablewinds had allowed us to sail for most of the night. Right after taking over,our watch set the mains'l, struck the tops'l and braced square, beforeeventually heaving on a port tack to slow the ship down and conduct sciencedeployments mid-morning. I stood watch in the lab today, where we collecteda lot of data. We deployed the carousel for CTD data collection and Niskinbottle sampling at depth, deployed the Phytoplankton Net to collect data onprimary productivity, performed a Shipek Grab for sediment sampling on theocean floor, and deployed a neuston net to collected critters that indicatesecondary productivity. Our morning watch also did some bird counts andcompleted chores. My fellow C-watchers took turns completing hourly boatchecks, steering at the helm, acting as lookouts, recording weather, andplotting our position on the nautical chart while I was in the lab. We wererelieved by A watch at 1300, and got to enjoy the rest of our afternoon andevening for ourselves. This allowed us to rest and be ready to be back ondeck to stand Dawn watch at 0100, early tomorrow morning.I hope this post gives you a quick glimpse of what the life has been likefor my 31 shipmates and I in the past few days on the Robert C. Seamans, andam excited for them to keep sharing our journey with you all through thisblog on a more consistent basis in the future. I wish you all well and wantto tell my friends and family that I love them very much, and that I amhaving the time of my life at sea on the Bobby C!

Hear more about the journey from Woods Hole to Aotearoa New Zealand through Tiegan Paulson's, College of Atlantic, Podcast.

Leigh Marine Lab
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  1. Patrick February 22, 2024 at 17:47 - Reply

    Merci pour les nouvelles!!Thanks for News! Havé junior everybody!

  2. Patrick February 22, 2024 at 17:48 - Reply

    Merci pour les nouvelles!!Thanks for News! Have fun everybody!

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