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SEA Currents: News


October 05, 2018

Crown of Thorns Starfish, Here we come!

Therese Ohman, B Watch, Suffolk University

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Early morning here on the Robert C Seamans with a full morning of activities ahead of us. ‘A-Watch’ started early swabbing the deck (regardless of the fact it was pouring rain) and morning chores were in full swing. This morning we mustered on the quarter deck to gather snorkeling equipment and flippers.


October 04, 2018

Pow-wow in Vava’u

Fletcher Tague Shell, A-Watch, Southern Oregon University

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We started off our first full day at port in Neiafu with a splendid breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, English muffins, and hot sauce. Afterwards, our class mustered on the quarterdeck to apply sunscreen and a heavy shield of Deet before we walked down the street to attend a educational presentation by the Vava’u Environmental Protection Association (VEPA).


October 03, 2018

Arriving in Tonga

Cameron Chertavian, B Watch, Bowdoin College

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Late on Tuesday night, B watch (my very own watch, winners of the previous day’s line chase competition) made an exciting sighting: land! After five days at sea, we finally spotted our first destination: Vava’u, Tonga. I had served as assistant steward the day before and had abbreviated night watch because of it, meaning that I was sound asleep for the call of “Land ho!” but awoke the next morning to the sight of Tonga.


October 02, 2018

Chasin’ Lines

Samuel Noonan, B Watch, University of Denver

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Good Morning all!

B Watch started the dawn watch (0100-0700) this morning remaining “hove to”.  We all arrived on deck to observe the ten foot swells and 30 knot wind speeds occurring since early yesterday afternoon.


October 01, 2018

Near Gale Fun

Dietrich Klug, C Watch, Sewanee: University of the South

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Today is officially October 1st after crossing into the international dateline. We have skipped September 30th which no longer existed for us. Despite the near gale weather, most of us have gotten over the sea sickness, which had us giving tribute to Neptune over the first few days.


September 28, 2018

On the lookout

Joao Freitas, C-Watch, Colorado College

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Yesterday we started our journey through the South Pacific. However, many little things matter when getting the ship in motion. We start by going over drills for the various emergencies that can occur while we are underway – man overboard, fire in the galley, and prepare to abandon ship.


September 27, 2018

Dr. Jan Witting Discusses SEA Research and the PIPA Trust

SEA Semester

SEA Professor of Oceanography Jan Witting recently completed his 5th research expedition to the remote Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) with SEA Semester class S-281, Protecting the Phoenix Islands. As a member of PIPA’s Scientific Advisory Committee, he will be contributing data collected on his voyages at a meeting of the PIPA Trust later this month.

Q: Jan, can you begin by briefly telling us more about both PIPA’s Scientific Advisory Committee and the PIPA Trust.

A: When the Phoenix Islands Protected Area was established in 2006, it was by an act of Kiribati parliament. In that legal framework, the PIPA Conservation Trust has the task of guiding and governing the operation and future development of PIPA, working with a broad array of international partners. The Trust oversees the funds that have been raised to help compensate Kiribati for lost fishing license revenue. Under the Trust, the PIPA implementation office (PIO) is a body whose job it is to implement the Trust’s decisions on the ground. The Science Advisory Committee (SAC) serves to inform both the PIO and the Trust to advise them of the current scientific understanding of a broad array of topics relevant to managing the ecosystems within PIPA. Members of the SAC come from many different disciplines and backgrounds, and some of us are involved in active research programs within PIPA.

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September 26, 2018

(Almost) Underway

Lizzy Hinman, Grinnell College

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Hello to all following the journey of S-282! This is your first student blog post, I hope you’re excited. We are currently still docked in Pago Pago, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t action on board. We spent all of yesterday learning our way around the ship and all that we will have to do on board when we are underway.


September 25, 2018

S-282: Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures and Ecosystems

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The students of S-282, Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures and Ecosystems (SPICE) join the SSV Robert C. Seamans on Sept. 24th in American Samoa. Their cruise ends in Auckland, New Zealand on Nov. 5th, after stops in Tonga and Fiji.


September 25, 2018

Next Stop: Tonga

Jeff Wescott, Anthropology Professor, Sea Education Association

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All students, faculty, and staff have safely arrived aboard SSV Robert C. Seamans. After a full day of ship orientation yesterday, today’s mission is to enjoy an umu—a traditional Samoan earth oven feast—with our good friends Reg and Su’a Fitiao, at their home in nearby Leone.


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