Day 6 – 33° 28.1’N X 118° 59.3’W
Sunday, September 8, 2013
This morning around 0300, members of A and B Watch witnessed dolphins swimming in the bioluminescence of comb jellies under the starry sky. Students on watch during the earliest parts of the morning often get to experience unique occurrences that may only happen once the entire voyage. All students cycle through those early watch times and get a chance to carry out scientific collections, steer at the helm using the stars, stand at the bow with the crisp salty sea air gusting through their hair, and complete the all-important “boat check,” which is an hourly walk through the ship and record of all major systems to keep track of the safety of the ship’s company.
Today members of B Watch led the student reports with information about the weather (which has been gorgeous!) and the latest updates from the science lab. Pictured here Garrett, Becca, and Neeko led a discussion on how salinity levels have varied over the course of our voyage. Arguably, the most competitive event of the day took place after class while we were hove-to: The Pin Chase. Students lined up on the quarterdeck by watch and raced against one another to locate a designated line used to handle the many sails onboard the RC Seamans. Whether it be the main staysail halyard or the starboard jib sheet, students power-walked to that line’s pin, awaited confirmation from a member of the ship’s crew, and charged back to their watch to give the green light for the next member in line to continue the relay. The winners of today’s adrenaline-inducing Pin Chase were the distinguished members of B Watch: Garrett from the California Maritime Academy, Becca from Temple University, Piper from Williams College, Neeko from Williams, Bennett from Oberlin College, and Alana from Smith College!
Meanwhile, in the midst of all the stunning sights and fun learning about the ship’s handling, we have been having academic classes every afternoon, led by Williams-Mystic literature professor Richard King, SEA’s oceanography professor Jeff Schell, and Captain Doug Nemeth. Among others, topics have included ‘Melville and Maritime Language,’ ‘The Biogeography of the Southern
California Bight,’ and ‘Beginning Celestial Navigation.’