SEA Currents: study abroad
Stalactites and Chandeliers
Today was eventful to say the least! From touring a fellow academic sailboat, to being reunited with our Ocean Policy professor, there was a lot to do. Furthermore, it was our first full day in Bermuda, and consequently, our first full day off since the beginning of the sea component. Everyone’s day began together with another wonderful breakfast cooked by the lovely Sabrina. We then mustered (all met) on the quarter deck before being set free on the island.
Hello again friends!
This morning, we were awoken by the sound of crashing pots and pans and banging doors. The leftover dishes from the night before were flying across the galley counter and the closet door someone forgot to latch shut was swinging wildly out of control. The winds were strong, and the ship was rocking and rolling harder than it has in a while. “Karrin, this is your 6am wakeup. Breakfast in 20 minutes, watch in 50. Wear a jacket its cloudy and could rain.”
Counting Down to Bermuda
Today we got hit with some winds (Force 5-6), a stark difference from the calm of yesterday. Though I’m still running off the high of going aloft yesterday (truly the most incredible view in the world – definitely a trip highlight), I couldn’t imagine climbing the mast in these waves, and the winds are only supposed to get stronger. That being said, I don’t have a lot of pictures so I’m just going to share this cool one from yesterday!
From the Smallest to the Tallest
Today began with (vegan) pancakes from our amazing steward Sabrina. She has been feeding us non-stop with gourmet meals and snacks six times a day, there is more food here than I’ve ever seen in my life. After an amazing breakfast, my watch (B-watch) was ready to take the deck. Half of us went to tend the sails and ship while the others, Anna and myself went to lab with our scientist leader Grayson. When I walked into lab, there were pantyhose filled with styrofoam cups we had decorated, hanging around the lab disco ball.
Where to begin? I have to quote our Captain Jay and say, “.and this is my life!” For over a month now, 32 of us have been sailing along the South Pacific, learning about our roles on board the Brigantine, how to help each other grow and standing up to the challenges and rewards that Nature has to offer. I would not want to be anywhere else.
Taking our departure from Raiatea
Today at 1530 local time our ship departed the calm, protected waters of Raiatea’s lagoon bound for sea on the final leg of our journey together. For many of us, our arrival to the land brought a mixture of feelings and reactions: a visceral aversion to the sight of cars and trucks, a strange need to carry dirt around in one’s pocket, the urge to lie prostrate and kiss the ground. Our watery world, which had ensconced us in its protective (sometimes combative) embrace, was shattered, and all of a sudden there were these rocks, and people, and colors other than blue. It was weird!
A Day with Mama Cramer
0000 May 3rd 2017 — My watch beeps. It is midnight. I have been standing as lookout at the bow for one hour now. I look down into the water that breaks beneath me. It is speckled with bioluminescence that glimmers like sparks deflecting off of the hull. I look up into the sky, a bright crescent moon rests above me. I realize how thankful I am to be on watch on such a beautiful night.
Sailing and Science under the Stars
My day started and ended under the stars. The day technically began watching a triple stack of nets go down to 100 meters for one last sampling from the South Sargasso Sea. As Marie mentioned before, there’s a certain amount of coordination (which we all sometimes lack) required to set up a wire deployment at night, hoping you don’t knock anything overboard or trip over anything. Even with these difficulties, there is something about science under the stars that is pretty unreal.
Arrival in Raiatea
After 32 days at sea, the 32 people aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans have made it safely alongside the dock in Raiatea, French Polynesia. All are healthy and morale is high. Our arrival was slightly delayed this morning due to responding to a Mayday call from a grounded vessel on nearby Huahine. We were able to relay messages between the vessel, coincidentally named Argo, and the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Tahiti and we made preparations to assist as needed. However, as we were approaching the island, authorities were able to reach the vessel and were we able to resume our sail track into Raiatea.
Day in the Life of a Galley Steward
We reached our 1,000th cumulative mile of our journey during early dawn this morning while the spray was whipping over the bow and the only light on deck was from the stars. We were taking a slight diversion South through the South Sargasso Sea in hopes of obtaining more samples of Sargassum and possibly the form we have not found much of on this voyage: