Ocean 360

April 2, 2024

Author: Aronah Swartz, C Watch, College of the Atlantic


Ship's Log

Sunday, March, 31, 2024

Noon Position (Lat and Long): 43°13.0’S x  175°53.8’E
Ship Heading (degrees): 060
Ship Speed (knots): 7 knots
Taffrail Log (nm): 153.3
Weather / Wind / Sail Plan: Altostratus clouds / SEx S Beafort 4/ Sailing under 4 lowers
Description of location: 150nm E of Lyttleton, New Zealand, Chatham Rise

This past week has been filled with safety training, learning new ship
vocab, getting to know the crew, and exploring the seaside mountainous town
of Lyttelton, ANZ. Before we set sail, I got a chance to climb Mount
Pleasant with some of my friends (Zahra, Bri, Soifia, Finn, Amanda, Hannah,
and Sam). After going over the peak, we discovered a new, stunning view of
Christchurch with sheep grazing on the hills around us.

Today, on our second day underway, we officially can’t see land. Ocean is
all around us, as well as those who live among it. So far, we have seen a
bunch of different marine mammal species. Today, while on watch (lookout) I
spotted what I thought was a dolphin, but as it got closer to the ship on
starboard side, I realized they were a pod of pilot whales! I counted 8 of
them as they swam 6-7ft away from me under the head rig. I brought my camera
on lookout with me, and managed to capture a somewhat good picture.

Here’s a short poem I wrote about watching the albatross:

Wingspan the size of me,

They glide perpendicular to the horizon.

Slicing swells with the tip of its wing,

It soars

No land in sight,

The ocean is home.

In the morning around 1000, C watch successfully deployed the first neuston
tow at 2 knots and the CTD (conductivity, temperature, and depth) while
“hove to” on the port side. I was at the helm for the first time during
deployments, but I got to see the collected specimen after my watch: lots of
copepods and other zooplankton, phytoplankton, and an unidentified

Sofia has been student steward today. Not a single meal to disappoint. I
just had cheesecake for snack?! I think it’s time for a nap before dinner
and my next watch (dawn: 0100-0700). I’m hoping for some stars tonight… It’s
been pretty cloudy the past few days, but there are some openings of blue in
the sky now.

Goodnight to my family and friends who are reading this.

Lots of love and a big smile,


[Aronah Swartz, C Watch, College of the Atlantic]

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One Comment

  1. Mary Swartz April 7, 2024 at 14:24 - Reply

    It’s so wonderful to hear about your amazing adventures from all the perspectives of your shipmates. The whales and the albatross must be incredible to watch. I’m remembering the first whale watch we took with you out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. We know you are learning so much and are especially happy you are having fun while you do it. We love you and miss you. Love, Nana❤️

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