SEA Currents: american samoa
End of Class S-274
SSV Robert C. Seamans has arrived in Pago Pago, American Samoa, and all students have departed the ship bound for destinations as far apart as Europe and New Zealand and everywhere in between.
While this ship’s company will never be the same, we all walk away with a shared experience of visiting a remote marine sanctuary and voyaging under sail to get there and back safely. The PIPA voyage challenged each person in their own way, and I am proud of all students and staff for their accomplishments, whether academic, professional, or personal.
S-274 Gets Underway
It has been an eventful first day here on the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Morning activities for student participants were filled with an enlightening and refreshing walking tour to the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center in Pago Pago, American Samoa. During our visit, our crew had the unique opportunity to speak personally with Fisheries Observer and Biologist, Michael Marsik, from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. Tuna canneries on the island of Tutuila provide many jobs for American Samoans, so it was invaluable that Marsik could provide us with excellent background information on local tuna fishing methods and regulations.
Class S-274 has spent the past couple days learning about their new home, the beautiful ship SSV Robert C. Seamans. During this shore-side orientation in American Samoa, students have learned about aloft safety, science operations, cleaning routines, boat checks, sail handling, line safety, meal routines, and a host of other important things that will set them up for success when we leave the dock tomorrow afternoon.
All the students of class S-274: Protecting the Phoenix Islands, have boarded the SSV Robert C. Seamans alongside in Pago Pago, American Samoa. First order of business: a good night’s sleep after a long flight!
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.
Welcome to American Samoa
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.
S-269 Student Arrival
All students for class S-269 have arrived safely aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans in American Samoa.
Am Sam, Thank you Ma’am
What day is it? Where are we? What happened?
I thought this high seas adventure would never end- I didn’t want it to. Let’s turn around and just sail back to Hawai’i. There are plenty of other islands we can stop at, if we wish to stop at all. Let’s live off of coconuts and swim with the bumpheads like the good ‘ole days. Let’s do science and unleash the secrets of the deep. Let’s look up to the constellations and share our stories. Set the Fish! We’ve got miles to make! We’ve got places to be!
Reflections on PIPA
We made landfall with the first light this morning, the tall green peaks of Tutuila emerging from the early morning light. After the flat coral atolls of PIPA, this lush verdant island cuts a very different figure. So do all the houses, cars, the many sizes of fishing vessels in the harbor, and the loud yellow McDonalds on the town waterfront. Ahead of us here are final project presentations and goodbyes, the crew of this amazing voyage will disembark on Monday morning.
Approach to American Samoa
It is nine o’clock in the morning and we are just making our approach toward the green and verdant hills of American Samoa. How strange it is to see such vibrant colors after days and days of blue. It consistently amazes me how tenacious life can be. Any little rock or bit of sand that sticks above the surface of the ocean will be covered in green living things so long as it receives sufficient fresh water.
Like so many other things in the oceans, islands are bridges between the freshwater realm of the atmosphere and the salt water below.