Thursday, May 28, 2009

Crossing the Line

Stanford At Sea student Kate Lowry

It’s 0900 and we are just a couple hours away from crossing the equator! According to our celestial fixes and dead reckoning, we are within 15 nautical miles of 0 degrees…the lateral center of the world! The ship is booming with excitement as we travel across the Equatorial Counter Current. So far we pollywogs (those who have never crossed the equator on a ship) have in good fun, been subject to the whims of Neptune. We’ve been left messages on our mirrors from King Neptune, labeled pollywogs, and offered cereal and milk for breakfast rather than fresh bagels and papaya. By lunch time, we will all celebrate together as shellbacks, the name for those who have crossed the equator!

Students prepare a CTD sampler on deck

It’s hard to believe we are already so far along in our journey. It’s bittersweet to leave the Southern Hemisphere. We are excited to really dig into our projects and eventually reach Honolulu, but sad to see our time south of the equator end. With more uninterrupted time at sea, it seems that everyone has acclimatized pretty well to ship life. The spirits on board seem higher than ever, and after some structured working time yesterday afternoon, everyone is well into their projects. Our knowledge of the ship increases each day, but we are now navigating without the GPS (using star and sun sites for positions) and have received high compliments from Captain Phil on our sail setting and line handling. With lots of data collection and new organisms in our net tows every day, it is an exciting time to be aboard the Robert C. Seamans!

-Kate Lowry


theresak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
theresak said...

Great article! Would love to know who the students are in the photographs!

Donna said...

I've enjoyed following your trip via your blog!My Niece Marra is aboard.

Griffin100 said...

Congratulations to all the Shellbacks. All of the landlubbers back home are envious of and deligthted to keep up with your adventures by blog. Navagating by the stars instead of using GPS probably qualifies one as more of a sailor as well. Thanks for the update. Give our best to King Neptune and his wife