Today I Shot the Sun

February 28, 2024

Author: Tiegan Paulson, B Watch, College of the Atlantic ’25


Ship's Log

February 27, 2024

Position: South of Cape PalliserSpeed: 6 knotsLog: 1103nmWeather: Wind Force 4-6 out of the North, clear skies all day. Seas 4', primarily northerly.

Heyas,Only a few places have stolen my sense of time and the Robert C. Seamans isone of them. Things that happened yesterday meld into the confused timelineof the last ten days. Suddenly the deck log feels a lot more important; Iwouldn't have any idea how far we've come. The world would revolve entirelyaround the first minute of On Board, a song which hasn't left my head sincewe left Auckland. I'm thoroughly and unfortunately sick of it. Unfortunate,because I love the song - but hopefully will be able to come back to it whenI've been able to sit with other melodies.

That aside life is good. We entered the Cook Strait proper todayand have been on the southeast edge of it since about 0900. The wind whippedup to a solid Beaufort Force 6 soon after that remained until this afternoonwhen things finally settled down. Seeing the strait so alive was a realtreat, even if it limited our canvas. We made our science deployments,plotted our way southwest.

By far the highlight of my day was completing my firstsuccessful sextant measurement. At 10:54:32, Log distance 1076 nauticalmiles, I successfully 'shot' the sun at 41o 48.0' from the horizon. I stillhaven't done the math to calculate the exact position, but knowing that theshot was accurate is exciting. With any luck we'll continue to have cleardays so I can keep practicing. Major props to 2nd Mate Charlotte forpatiently walking me through the process despite several goofy mistakes. Thenext steps from here are to reference the suns 'geographic position' at theexact time I made the shot and use the angle to get a circle of potentialpositions on the globe. What I still don't understand is how you narrow itdown from there, which means what I currently understand doesn't help meunderstand a whole lot, but hey - you have to start somewhere. I've gottenthrough step one!

Tucking in for the night, I'll be the student steward tomorrow!Get ready, world, here comes my cooking.Tiegan Paulson, B Watch, College of the Atlantic '25

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