SEA Currents: May 2016
Hello to friends and family far away! Last night at 19:00 the crew of the Robert C. Seamans “Heave Ho’d” together to set the main’sl and begin the next leg of our journey en route to Kiritimati Island. Yesterday, we spent the day snorkeling at Karoraina conducting reef surveys. Students broke into pairs to focus on inverts, coral, and fish within the ecosystem. Although impossible to ignore evidence of bleaching, the reef was magnificent.
Today the crew of the Robert C. Seamans had the privilege of snorkeling one of the most remote and least seldom visited reefs in the Pacific, the fore reef of Caroline/Karoraina Island. From what I understand, the island is a protected area in Kiribati, and I can absolutely see why!
This entire journey so far has been such a blast. First off, I have been getting used to our watch schedules which are used to determine who will be up for every part of the day. From our watches I have learned that I am sleeping way too much at home then i should be. I get so much work done before the sun starts to rise over the horizon. Our steward is also such an awesome cook. I eat just as well as i do at home, and she surprises us each night.
Last night was a momentous occasion. For the first time on this trip we set the full stack, and were zipping along without motoring. Within a few hours of departing our anchorage at Rangirora the students set the forestays’l and mainstays’l, set the tops’l, set the raffee, struck the forestays’l, set the course, and set the mains’l. Being the diligent students they are, there was hardly a misstep as we set more sails than we have had all trip.
Today was a very exciting day for the crew aboard the Robert C. Seamans, as we were able to complete our first (of many) reef surveys! The surveys began at 0730 and continued throughout the morning, giving each Watch ample time to collect necessary data, pictures, and snorkeling experience. As someone who is not extensively familiar with reef snorkeling, this was an incredible first experience.
We love to hear updates from SEA Semester alumni and former shipmates. Their continuing adventures and achievements never fail to impress us, as evidenced by Darcy Cogswell (C-260).
Last week, Darcy graduated summa cum laude from Trinity College with a degree in classical studies. Darcy was the class of 2016 salutatorian, and her twin sister, Jami, was valedictorian!
Greetings from the Robert C. Seamans! As I am writing, the ship is sitting at anchor at Rangiroa atoll. After a successful sail from Tahiti which involved handling lines, sampling water and deploying oceanographic gear, we entered Rangiroa’s lagoon shortly after first light this morning through Tiputa pass. Rangiroa is a huge atoll, measuring over 40 nautical miles in length and 20 in width. Its lagoon is so vast one cannot see the end of it; some say we seem to have entered another ocean altogether.
To help spread the word about Sea Educations Association’s National Science Board Public Service Award, presented in Washington on May 5th, the National Science Foundation produced this stunning video.
Today we set sail from Papeete, Tahiti; a momentous occasion. The moment we have all been waiting for, planning for, dreaming of these past many months full of anticipation and preparation. We were escorted offshore by several species of seabirds, marking our first oceanographic observations of the cruise; and a truly stunning sunset alive with shifting colors.
The Sailing School Vessel Robert C. Seamans is gracefully secure alongside the dock Epi Sud 4, Papeete Harbor, Tahiti, French Polynesia.
We are delighted to share that all hands are safely aboard, full of positive energy and ready to begin their academic adventure as crew members for our voyage - S-267 Pacific Reef Expedition.