Welcome to the SSV Robert C. Seamans! The students and crew have now merged as one shipboard community. We are now a compliment of 18 student-crew and 17 professional crew – a full ship’s compliment – our crew for the upcoming voyage. We all spent the night onboard, comfortably alongside the dock in Pape’ete, Tahiti.
Our ship is also full of food thanks to the efforts, Cat and Gracie, our amazing stewards. They have been provisioning the ship by visiting the local market each day this past week. Soon the students will be rotating into the galley to assist with the daily cooking and cleaning, but for now the students were able to help the galley team by making one final provisioning run to the market. Each Watch of students was given a small amount of local cash and a shopping list. In no time the ship’s small grocery wagon was full of zucchini, bunches of mint and basil, loads of lettuce greens, star fruit and more coconuts, never enough coconuts! And the beneficiary of our steward’s planning and culinary skills are a bunch of full bellies!
Life aboard an SEA ship is also full. Full of learning opportunities and responsibilities. Before departing from Tahiti there have been a series of training rotations to prepare each student for their role as a member of the crew. They have learned how to properly wear their safety harness, which allowed them to safely practice deploying scientific equipment and climbing into the head rig to furl the jib sail. The students have also trained on how to keep the ship safe with the hourly Boat Check, how to make weather observations, and what to do during various emergency scenarios such as fire or abandon ship.
And after all of this training guess what else is full, their minds, stuffed full of important information! Some of it will stick, some will be lost during a restful night of sleep. But these lessons will become second nature as the days at sea go by and the routine of the ship schedule, the sailing and the science mission progresses. Soon the students will be seasoned salts speaking a new language and describing the strange customs of the sailing, research vessel SSV Robert C. Seamans.
So please stay tuned and follow along in our adventures in the days to come.
Schelly, Chief Scientist - Jeffrey M. Schell
PS Sweet dreams to my darling rose and love to family and friends back home.