Setting Sail from San Diego!

Tuesday September 18, 2012


San Diego Harbor, San Diego, CA

32°43’N, 117°10’W


Good afternoon! This is Katie Clark, the Director of Admissions for Williams-Mystic, the Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport. I am here aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans with the Fall 2012 class, Chief Scientist Dr. Lisa Gilbert a Williams-Mystic professor, and 12 members of the ship’s professional crew. I will be writing throughout our trip on the happenings about the ship so be sure to look back from time to time for updates!

We arrived in San Diego on Monday to a warm and sunny California day. After a brief look-about at the San Diego Maritime Museum our students and their heaps of luggage were taken by small boat to board the ship. This means that our students hopped in a dingy from shore, rode through the traffic of the Harbor, and climbed up the ship’s ladder and placed their feet on the deck of the ship they will crew for the next ten days. Students are split into three watches: A Watch, B Watch, and C Watch which are six person watches led by a Mate and an Assistant Scientist. Fall 2012 students will learn to steer the ship at the helm, read a compass, handle lines, furl and unfurl sails, help in the galley (the ship’s kitchen), and check on the extensive workings of the engine room, among a plethora of other adventures!

This morning students arose at 0600 for breakfast and jumped right into the schedule of the ship. We have been working in stations to cover safety procedures throughout the ship including safety drills, proper line handling, and a science lab and equipment tutorial. James from the New School, Betsy from Wheaton, and Michael from Williams practiced the commands and operations for the wire which we’ll use to deploy oceanographic equipment later in the voyage. Students will be recording scientific observations in the science lab throughout our trip.

We will be enjoying a delicious lunch today made by Lauren and Sayzie, the talented stewards, before we haul up the anchor and leave San Diego Harbor this afternoon! At that point the students will have officially become crew members of the SSV Robert C. Seamans! An exciting step in our offshore field seminar!

Fair Winds,


Author: williamsmystic

A one semester interdisciplinary ocean and coastal studies program integrating marine science, maritime history, environmental policy, and literature of the sea.

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