Sailing into the Blue

Author: Kelly Morgan, A-Watch, University of California, Berkeley

Kelly at the helm

Kelly at the helm next to Captain Rick Miller (right), steering the SSV Robert C. Seamans out of the Port of San Diego.

Ship's Log

32°54.8’ N, 117°29.0’ W


7 knots

Sail Plan
Mainsail, main staysail, for-staysail ?

Stratus cloud cover (marine layer), 19.5°C, 1005.5 mB Wind: WSW

Description of location
10 nm off the coast of California in the Gulf of Santa Catalina

Souls on Board

The SSV Robert C. Seamans has set sail with S-299 aboard and excited! I had the honor of steering us out of port with the help of Torey, our Assistant Engineer, on the throttle, A-Watch on lookout, and Cap’ Rick directing our heading. Lots of traffic in the harbor this morning! It was imperative that we steer clear of the naval warships sharing the channel with us. At one point, a naval vessel passed our port-side that made the Seamans look like a dinghy.

Once safely out of the harbor, it was all hands on deck to hoist the sails! We raised the main staysail, the fore-staysail, and altogether, the mainsail. By 1000 (ten hundred or ten o’clock), we were under wind power. As A-watch was still on deck, we began our hourly boat checks, half-hourly engine room checks, and other orders given to us by our First Mate, Ava. I set our first positon on the chart and plotted our heading. We are sailing northwest up the Gulf of Santa Catalina towards the Channel Islands where we will rendezvous with the seal ions before heading out into the Pacific.

Before 1200 (noon), we passed a pod of dolphins who promptly swam over to come welcome us. At least ten of them were swimming and leaping on port bow, causing all students on deck to rush to the rail. One of my friends, Kyla, said she could cry just watching them. Their presence is certainly a good omen for the voyage!

We are in the sweet spot right now- when we have our WHOLE trip ahead of us and everything to look forward to!  Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve been overcome with gratitude for the experience laid before us. It is apparent that a semester with SEA is an incredibly special and unique opportunity that we are all privileged to have. On behalf of all of the students aboard the Seamans, I’d like to thank our friends and family for helping us get here. We are sailing out into the blue and we couldn’t have done it without you.

- Kelly Morgan, University of California, Berkeley / A-Watch

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

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