SEA Currents: Jun 2015
Today marks the end of the S-260 Sea Component for Aloha ‘Aina 2015. The ship, crew and students have safely returned from their voyage among the Hawaiian Islands. The students depart the ship with mixed feelings, both sadness as they say goodbye to their new home and shipmates, but they are also glad to see solid ground and have the opportunity to reconnect with friends and family back home and abroad.
Land is very close (I can smell it) and I would like to share what have been in my thoughts ever since a few weeks into the Transatlantic Crossing program here at SEA.
Imagine a spherical boat. It is the most extraordinary boat one ever laid eyes upon. It is equipped with everything—food, water, warm places, bars, public houses, spectacles of all kinds. Sailors on this boat come in all types: some short, some tall, some lean, some bulky, and so on.
Today marked the first day of classes in Oceanography and Maritime History and Culture. We had enthusiastic introductions to each subject, and had a great lunch in between the classes. Shout out to Nick the cook! And also shout out to Carl’s marvelous singing in class.
Greetings from across the Atlantic!
I write to you, having just completed a combined “fire” and “abandon ship” drill. The seas were a churning gray as the crew moved through a thin mist of rain this afternoon, completing our assigned duties. We each clambered into our bright red immersion suits, laughing as they transformed us into oversized lobsters—or clumsy Martian aliens, as I like to imagine.
Students from across the country arrived at SEA campus today to beautiful sunshine and a delicious barbecue dinner. All twenty-four kids took some time to settle into their houses, play frisbee and volleyball, and endure some ice-breaker games with Maggie and I (your very excited RA’s).
SEA Semester® in the News: “Setting Sail for Science”
by Sheila Foran, UConn Today | June 29, 2015
For some, the words ‘study abroad’ may conjure thoughts of London or Paris or Tokyo. But for three UConn marine sciences students this past spring semester, it meant taking to the high seas aboard a sailing ship equipped with sophisticated research facilities.
The students of SEASCape I 2015 arrived on campus on Monday, June 29th. This three-week summer program at SEA offers motivated high school students the opportunity to study the marine environment from a variety of perspectives – scientific, historical, literary, and nautical. Participants live and study at our campus in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Academic programming is scheduled throughout each day, including on most weekend days. Coursework includes lectures, discussions, laboratory activities, and field trips; all introducing students to the study of oceanography, the history of humanity’s relationship with the oceans, and modern maritime issues. Teamwork, leadership, and sense of community are the underlying values of SEA’s academic curriculum. Participants not only grow as students, but as global citizens and individuals.
Saturday (27 June) dawned cool and grey with Force 5 winds, as we closed back toward the Irish Coast to view Fastnet Rock and Light during daylight hours. An amazing sight to see the huge structure perched atop a jagged rock, miles out to sea and surrounded—even in fine weather—by pounding surf. Cap took the helm to give all a great visual experience. As the evening wore on toward night, winds increased to force 7+ with heavy rain, making for a wet and wild evening watch, followed by a restful sleep.
Today we awoke to the ship being anchored just outside of Kaunakaka’i Harbor on the island of Moloka’i. This was the last island on our itinerary we had yet to visit, which made our 0630 wakeup call slightly more tolerable. The prospect of spending an entire day on land after 7 straight days at sea also provided extra incentive to get the day started.
The sky is bright, the clouds are few and high, the raffee is full of wind, and the world, as Chief Mate Mack would say, is “luminous.” I write at 1850; I was waiting to start this entry until the end of the day in hope that we would have seen Ireland by now. We haven’t, yet, but the sun has been setting so late that there’s still a chance we’ll see it before the light is gone. Ireland is on the radar, less than 12 nautical miles to our north, and with our squares’ls and raffee set we’re sailing briskly through the whitecaps towards land.