Latest Expedition Journal

November 9:  Day 38

Posted by Jason Quilter

A Captain's Reflections - by Jason Quilter

A ship at rest. The SSV Robert C. Seamans safely docked this morning in Honolulu, Hawaii at 0800. Docklines now tether the ship to a distant shore and her flags fly proudly in the steady northeast trade winds. The stunning backdrop of the Diamond Head volcanic crater silhouettes the tall masts of our ship as we conclude the final moments of our voyage. We mustered one last time on the ship’s quarterdeck to say goodbye to our shipmates and to reflect on our accomplishments.

We have completed the Plastics at SEA: North Pacific Expedition 2012, an historic, 2,600-nautical mile, 36-day journey.  Through the teamwork and exceptional efforts by the entire ship’s crew of 38 people, we have successfully sailed the Robert C. Seamans from San Diego, CA through the North Pacific subtropical gyre and down to the Hawaiian Islands.

Our oceanographic research mission has been fulfilled by our dedicated scientists, researchers, and hardworking crew who spent countless hours deploying sampling equipment and tallying the plastic pieces retrieved in our nets. The ship was kept safe and running smoothly by the never ending vigilance and constant care from her devoted…

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School Email Exchange

School Email Exchange

Beginning the week of October 7, Classroom Outreach Coordinator Pat Keoughan will be posting questions from our partner schools, which will be answered by the scientists and crew onboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Check back soon to learn what kids in grades 5-12 are asking and learning about science and life onboard a sailing research vessel in the Pacific Ocean! Click here...

Featured Biography

Kellie Jensen - W-168


I grew up in a small Indiana farm town not too far from Chicago.  As kids, my sister and I spent almost every weekend climbing the sand dunes and attempting to the ride the waves of Lake Michigan and so began my love affair with water.  My spring breaks… Full bio...

Frequently Asked Questions


What have scientists learned about plastic and other marine debris in the ocean? What questions have yet to be answered? Click here...

Current SEA Research

Current Research

An area of plastic debris was first observed in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early 1970s, but in recent years, a similar area of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean has received the most media attention. Sea Education Association (SEA) has been studying both debris fields – in the North Atlantic for the past 25 years, and in the North Pacific the past eight. Click here...