SEA Currents: Sep 2016
Today we finally set sail and left the harbor. It still seems unreal to believe we are actually sailing away half way around the world in a tropical paradise. There are smiles all around as we take in the sea breeze and head toward the vast ocean in front of us.
With so many things to do as we started making way, we all had different jobs to do such as helmsman, lookout, and people striking and setting the many sails.
Hello from the other side… of the Atlantic! Today we made our last foray into the city of Barcelona and continued our assimilation to life aboard the Corwith Cramer. We practiced emergency drills, capped by the emergence and donning of immersion suits, ran through the procedural deployment of scientific equipment using our shipboard hydrowinch system and celebrated our second shipboard-birthday (Kate) in two days.
It doesn’t take long to adjust to this. Not with the speed at which our schedule moves. The past few days have been packed with training to prepare students to be as useful as possible once the ship is underway—man overboard drills, boat checks, practice science deployments, line handling safety. There is so much for us to learn in order to be of use once we are out at sea.
Hola family and friends of C-269,
Today was an eventful day in Barcelona. The Conservation and Management class made an 8 am trek to the beach to conduct our beach survey- quick shout-out to Mark (Conservation and Management professor onshore), we miss you! It was a great time, Kiernan and I took care of a 5-foot length of the beach and found a lot of debris. Not surprisingly for the size of Barcelona, there many more plastics than we found in Woods Hole.
This is our second day on board the SSV Robert C. Seamans, and as any introductory process we are still memorizing the inner workings of the ship. Our day really began in the early hours of the morning as the crew began to be introduced to dockwatch, an hourly check to ensure the ship is running to her optimum capacity. My watch began at 00:00 and ended at 01:00 which was fortunate for me as our activities on board ended fairly close to 22:00 so it didn’t impact my sleep much. Other watches were not as lucky.
Our first full day in the sea component of C-269 began early in preparation for “port stop exploration.” We began with a walking tour of Barcelona geographically centered around Las Ramblas, a broad, straight avenue known for its tourist attractions including a section of sidewalk cafes, flower shops, an open air market and other amenities for visitors to this Mediterranean port city. But, while all of these modern aspects of the city were certainly part of the tour, our purpose was to go back in time to the 1930s and learn more about Barcelona’s role in the Spanish Civil War and the impact of that brutal conflict on the people of this city and the region of Catalonia.
Family and friends of S-269 SPICE students and crew,
Day one of life aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans has come and gone!
Since arriving in American Samoa, students have experienced quite the plethora of shipboard activities. For the first couple of days, we as the professional crew throw a hopeful handful of spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks in their brains. The day started with wake ups and breakfast in two seatings of C watch and Others (non-watch standers) and A and B watches.
All students for class S-269 have arrived safely aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans in American Samoa.
The ship’s agent is a local professional who assists visiting ships in negotiating the complex business of being in port. Transactions relating to dockage, cargo, customs, and the delivery of fresh vegetables all pass through the agency, which in turn takes a fee for the service of organizing them. All large commercial ports require the use of such services, but even without this, going it alone would be functionally impossible in most cases. With the unique logistics and politics of each harbor, some vessels would never otherwise put to sea.
SEA Semester in the News
Sailing for Science
By David Orenstein
Brown Alumni Magazine
Peter Baek ’19 is a premed student, a scientist, and an explorer—thanks to a Disney movie.
“Ever since watching Finding Nemo with my grandpa and dad,” he says, “our love for fish and the ocean blossomed as every shelf around the house became occupied with aquariums.” Looking after all those fish inevitably led to an interest in science, Baek explains, and then to oncology: “The passing of my grandpa from laryngeal cancer transformed my interest in science to something deeper—the desire to pursue a career in oncology in dedication to my grandpa.”
In the years since high school, marine biology and cancer medicine have become inseparable to Baek. He’s learned, for example, that the tentacled aquatic animal bugula produces a chemical that has shown promise in fighting cancer. Before arriving at Brown last year, he spent summers learning about cancer biology in labs at the University of Pittsburgh and the National Institutes of Health.