This is a training environment

March 11, 2024

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

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Ship's Log

March 8, 2024Position: 43°45.482’S x 173°12.572’EHeading and speed: 165°, 6.3 knotsWeather: Force 4 winds coming from the SE with 2 feet swells coming from theS. Bright and clear day with parse cirrus and cumulus clouds and a drytemperature of around 16°C.

Bonjour bonjour!Time for another update on the fun shenanigans happening in the SouthPacific on the Robert C. Seamans! We spent a lovely night with a gorgeoussunset anchored in Pigeon Bay. B and A watch took care of hourly boat checksand anchor watch all throughout the night to keep our lovely ship safe andsound. C watch had the deck this morning and while our watch was spent atanchor, a couple of us were extremely productive finishing processing oursamples for independent research projects. I spent a couple hours in the labgoing through all the microplastics we have collected thus far with ourNeuston net tows. I was happily surprised to find that a lot of the piecesput aside were not actually plastic, which left me with a total of 13 actualplastic pieces collected along our cruise track during these deployments.At 1300 A watch relieved us on deck and we got underway, leaving ourbeautiful protected anchorage to start our journey south to Dunedin, with anexpected ETA of 1000 on Sunday. While we are still sailing close to shorewith the pretty view the South Island has to offer, the wind has picked upquite a bit in the past hours and our tables in the main salon are back ingimballed mode! I find it so fascinating to see the tables heel from side toside to keep level as the ship cruises through the waves.This afternoon, during our daily muster on the quarter deck at 1430 we weregreeted with, “This is a training environment. Fire in the galley,” a drillduring Julia’s science report. As a way to be ready and efficient in ourresponse to emergencies at any time on the ship, we go through a weeklyemergency drill allowing all the watches to perform their assigned task andbuild in some muscle memory.As the drill was coming to an end and all of us were making our way back tothe quarter deck, we sighted five beautiful Hector’s dolphins jumping in thewaves close to the ship. These dolphins were the cetacean species I was mostexcited about seeing in Aotearoa New Zealand (ANZ). This species is endemicto ANZ and is distributed all around the South Island. They are the smallestcetacean species in the world and have a black rounded dorsal fin that makesthem stand out in the ocean and makes you question this idea of a typicaldolphin. They are incredible creatures and were definitely the highlight ofmy day!Last but not least, I have to mention that today is the final stage of thebeard extravaganza that started a couple of days ago. More facial hair isabout to be shaved to leave a couple of crew members with stunningmustaches. However, today is also Fun Bun Friday, which means that most ofthe ship’s company is also proudly wearing the coolest, funniest and mostawesome hair buns! As always, we are having a blast on the Bobby C., takingall the opportunities to laugh and have fun at sea. Wish you all a greattime too!PS: Beau bonjour à toute la famille! Je vous aime fort et je pense à vous!Je profite de mes derniers jours en mer et j’ai hâte de tout vous raconter àmon retour.Delphine Demaisy, C Watch, College of the Atlantic

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