SEA Currents: News
Congratulations to SEA alum and marine biologist Mike Gil for being selected as a TED Fellow. He’ll join a class of 21 change-makers from around the world to deliver a talk this August from the TEDGlobal stage in Arusha, Tanzania.
A National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California, Davis, Mike studies human impact on marine ecosystems, and how social interactions among fish that eat harmful algae can counteract coral reef degradation.
As a science communicator, Mike started a science appreciation campaign. He creates videos and gives talks which he says are designed to “reveal the lesser-known side of science: an adventure, accessible to all….”
The evening air is drenched in sweet tunes pouring from the lips and fingers of our talented crew as students and staff alike swing about the science deck, yet again, entrenched in a jovial contra dance. The dancing and giggling is only briefly and occasionally interrupted by the dregs of a hilariously long game of “mafia” and for short sips of secret recipe swizzle juice and cookies.
This story is inspired by a journal entry by a spatula… A.K.A Mr. Spatchy
I woke up in the morning with a big smile in my face, thinking of all the hard work to come. I started cleaning what I heard was called Puerto Rican scrambled eggs with coconut bread that smelled really good from the Galley cavern. It was pretty interesting looking from upside down at two giants that were having fun mixing and crafting in their magic caldera a wonderful treat that I had to eventually clean.
It’s the assistant steward here! (for those of you who don’t know, every day a new student gets to assist our steward/goddess Morgan in the galley, so technically the assistant steward could be anyone….anyways, it’s Kayla talking to you right now) I’m sitting in the main saloon watching everyone enjoy the pest-faux pasta Morgan and I just whipped up. You’re probably thinking “what’s this pest-faux pasta?
Three days left. Just three days to absorb every last drop we can squeeze out of this incredible, inspiring, life-altering journey. I want to remember it all, afraid to blink, not wanting to let a single moment pass. After speaking with my family during our time in Dominica, I found it difficult to put into words all that I have experienced over the last five weeks. “What was your favorite thing on the boat?” they asked.
We are once again together and underway after spending three days anchored in Prince Rupert Bay, Dominica. Each watch had two days on land to explore the island and one day working on the ship to give Mama Cramer some well-deserved love.
This morning, the taste of Ting (a local grapefruit soda - think Squirt but so much better) still tickling my taste buds, we jumped right back into watch rotations, “rotating home” or back to our original watch officers for our last three days underway.
Dominica was great! We had so much fun touring the island, cities, and rainforests! Of our two days ashore, one was spent exploring on our own, and the other was spent on the planned excursion. The individuals of A Watch traveled far and wide on Dominica: from Roseau to Portsmouth, Cabrits to Toucarie Bay, and even the north shore. We swam in a gorgeous waterfall, hiked a nature trail, and forged our way into a freshwater swimming hole.
From the perspective of a tourist seeking adventure, Dominica blew us away with its natural beauty and friendly citizens. On shore we wrote about how to improve tourism on Dominica to increase climate resilience, with an emphasis on promoting ecotourism activities such as hiking through rainforests to waterfalls, snorkeling, and enjoying the immense amount of untouched natural beauty on the island.
After a voyage full of hard work, learning, and science we finally made it across the Atlantic, finding ourselves in a place that looked like paradise. Many of us had different feelings about seeing land: sad, nervous, excited, confused, bewildered, and overwhelmed. After being at sea for a month, the plethora of lights on land was somewhat shocking. On the other hand, the majority of land was lush green mountainous terrain. We had one day of work and festivities on the boat to acclimate at Anchor.
So here we are, in Dominica!! All day we were within sight of land, getting closer and closer to our destination. The first contact I personally had with the Caribbean was hearing marine weather reports in French, broadcast from Martinique. I really wasn’t expecting to hear familiar French after 29 days living on a tall ship in the middle of the ocean. We then met the smells of Dominica, a moist earthy tropical rain forest aroma. Shortly after, its mountains (tallest point of the Caribbean) towered before us as we crept our way into the Prince Rupert Bay.