SEA Currents: s258
University of Connecticut Highlights Spring SEA Semester Voyages
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.
Mt. Holyoke College Features SEA Semester Experience
SEA Semester® in the News: “MHC student studies climate aboard tall ship”
By Emily Harrison Weir, Mt. Holyoke College | June 4, 2015
Until recently, the closest Claudia Mazur ’16 had come to sailing was taking the Staten Island Ferry to and from Manhattan. Yet the Mount Holyoke College geology major and marine sciences minor spent spring semester learning about the world’s oceans and climate aboard a tall ship, sailing from New Zealand to Tahiti. Read the full story here.
Vassar College Features Spring Oceans & Climate Student Voyage
SEA Semester® in the News:
“Semester on the high seas: Ariana Sharma ’16 sails the South Pacific doing climate change research”
Vassar Info | May 22, 2015
When Ariana Sharma ’16 enrolled at Vassar, she had no plans to study abroad. “My feeling was, ‘Why leave this place until you have to?’” Sharma says. Her plans changed last fall when she spied a picture of a sailing ship on a bulletin board in the College Center that was advertising overseas study programs. She ended up spending part of the spring semester on that ship about as far away from Vassar as you can get. Read the full story here.
This experience was spectacular. Our last quarter deck meeting was filled with reflection, advice, and choked up goodbyes. I myself cannot describe to you everyone’s thoughts and feelings about this voyage for my words will not do it justice. Therefore, I have asked every student to write a few sentences of their own conclusion, may it be a statement of appreciation or reflection. Thank you very much. To the crew, to the other students and to my family. This has been an amazing 12 weeks. – Elle Nakamura
Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
The saying goes, almost only really counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. I disagree. I think getting almost to something is just as valuable as getting right to that thing. Almost gives you the chance to get better, to keep learning from others and to keep learning from your mistakes. Perfection doesn’t give you this luxury - instead you’re already the expert in your own head, and further improvement doesn’t seem necessary. Obviously people strive to achieve perfection over near perfection, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
The Final Mission
Hello again to all the readers of the S-258 blog - In my last entry I was busy knitting more warm layers, but am happy to report that those have been stowed for shorts and bathing suits!
Today during class we wrapped up project presentations, completing the final step of the process. We also each had a question to answer during last night’s watches regarding different statistics of our trip, from the highest wave recorded (over 20 feet!) to the favorite stars to shoot for celestial fixes.
Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude
I am currently sitting on deck underneath a sky glowing with stars, something that I have now grown accustomed to out here at sea. Back home, I never saw anything more than the Big Dipper on a clear night, nothing close to any trace of a planet, the Milky Way, or even a shooting star. Out here, the sky comes to life. Even after sailing 3,300 nautical miles, night after night I find myself walking on deck in utter amazement of what lies millions of miles above us. Just like the tides, the constellations rise and fall each and every night – a routine cycle that lent wonder, theory, and guidance to every seafarer before us.
Heave Away, Haul Away!
Back at sea! This afternoon, after one last jump into the warm crystal blue water, we initiated our departure from the paradise that is Raivavae. Now that we’ve had a few days of solid sleep, some well-deserved alone time on the nearby motu, and plenty of fun, we swung right back into our old routine.
Just Another Day In The Office
Half the ship’s company (who’d spent yesterday onboard) went snorkeling and island exploring today, while I was part of the crew who got to get off the ship yesterday. So today it was our turn to stay onboard to do some ship’s work. Let me describe my “work day,” which as an Assistant Scientist and part of the professional crew, is my actual job. Perhaps you’ll look into a position onboard!
Today was the day everyone on the boat has been waiting for since leaving the Chatham Islands 26 days ago and surely dreaming about since signing up for this program - setting foot on a beautiful French Polynesian island. Because there are 35 of us on board and we are still responsible for ship duties even in port, half of the boat was allowed to go ashore while the other half stayed aboard and worked on the ship (deep cleaning, sailing our little boat Gene, and swim calls). Tomorrow we will switch.