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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Jul 2014

July 23, 2014

Fair Seas

Doug Licitra, Saint Joe’s University


Hey everyone,
Doug here reporting in from the seas off the coast of Portugal. Since we had very favorable winds so far on this leg of the voyage, we are a bit ahead of schedule. So instead of arriving in Lisbon early and freaking out our Portuguese friends, we are simply sailing to sail. Currently, we are sailing under the main, the mainsail, the foresail, and the jib. The extra time gives us the opportunity to work on our second papers (which are due upon arrival in Lisbon) and improve our sailing practices.

July 22, 2014


Annie Rich / Codie Kyle , Sweet Briar College / College of Charleston

Annie and Codie here, reporting from the Science Lab with Juliana, our personal scientist, while reminiscing about our adventures jumping off the bowsprit during our first swim call on our voyage. The water was very refreshing and a special treat! To top off another perfect day at sea we got to see the “Green Flash” which we had just learned about the other day from Codie!

July 22, 2014

Anchored off The Island of the Sun

Michael S. Heard-Snow, C-Watch, Northeastern University


Today marks our third and last day amongst the I-Kiribati of the Phoenix Islands. The morning marked a last and intensive run of shore, snorkeling and science missions upon the island as well as in its beautiful lagoon. After a morning of snorkeling amongst the reef sharks that patrol and police the fish throughout the wreck of the President Taylor steam ship and Manta Rays that silently guard the lagoon entrance between the dredged channel of Spam Island and quiet remains of a long forgotten hotel on the opposing shore; the crew of the Seamans was given a most fond farewell not likely to be forgotten.

July 21, 2014

The Island of Kanton

Andrew Futerman, B-Watch, Oregon State University


The Robert C. Seamans has now spent two full days at anchor in this beautiful lagoon. The students and crew seem to be adjusting to island life really well. And how could they not? This island is simply magical. Everywhere you look this island is teeming with wildlife. Crabs scurry about like squirrels in North America. As you walk down the path and hear ascampering, it is likely a crab or one of the few pigs the local villagers own.

July 21, 2014

Cool-in-ary Deelights

Meara Cafferata, Pacific Northwest College of Art


Oh glorious day of days! When the staff takes over the galley and brings their culinary fantasies to life and the crew reaps the benefits! 

Captain Elliot delighted us all with his heritage apple pie, steeped in tradition and fresh churned Irish butter.  While it’‘s not a requirement for a sea captain to have perfected the art of pastry dough, we believe it is the ultimate bonus.  It harkened to the fall days in the Adirondacks, as we followed an afternoon swim call in the refreshing Spanish waters with warm Gramma Rappaport’‘s famous deep dish apple pie. Yum!

July 20, 2014

Sailing South

Evan Watkins, , C-Watch, Purdue University


We are enjoying a calm and productive Dawn Watch here on the SSV Corwith Cramer, making quite a bit of headway towards Lisbon, Portugal. Favorable winds are allowing us to sail dead South on a run towards our destination. The ship feels squeaky clean after Field Day yesterday, during which we scrubbed every inch of the interior (or at least it felt that way).

July 20, 2014

Gorgeous Ruins

David H. Livingstone, B Watch, University of Chicago


Kanton is gorgeous.  Today was characterized by the buzzing flurry of small boats continually buzzing to and from our ship, taxiing people to shore and taking scientists out on sea missions.  Everyone was roused good and early so that we could all make the most the day.  A and B watch left in the morning to explore the island.

Kanton itself is an astounding convergence of beautiful plants, birds, waters and invertebrates all cast against a shroud of haunting, gorgeous ruins.

July 19, 2014

Land’s End

Elliot Rappaport, Captain


Finisterre, or “Land’s End” is a place name that repeats itself frequently on the European coast, its individual versions each marking the spot where land runs out and ocean begins. This final corner of Spain marks the southern limit of the Bay of Biscay, and the eastern edge of the Azores High, which here in mid-summer is giving us a beautiful morning. It’s a boundary area for several current and weather systems, and has been a busy place for marine life. In recent days we’ve had productive plankton tows, bird sightings.. even a fish, hooked briefly on our trolling line before making its escape.

July 19, 2014

Jumping In

Sneha Vissa, C-Watch Denison University


I woke up this morning and thought I felt the boat rock just enough to think that once again, we had failed to maintain the anchor and she had drifted. Thankfully, that was just a byproduct of my early morning grogginess and we were (and still are) anchored right outside Kanton island!

We have spent 3 weeks together aboard this ship and have been waiting for today to finally go ashore at Kanton and meet the thirty or so residents of the island.

July 18, 2014

Microplastics in ocean causing rising concern amongst leading scientists

SEA Semester

Microplastics – microscopic particles of plastic debris – are of increasing concern because of their widespread presence in the oceans and the potential physical and toxicological risks they pose to organisms.

This is the view of two of the world’s most eminent authorities on the subject, Professor Kara Lavender Law, of Sea Education Association (Woods Hole, MA), and Professor Richard Thompson of Plymouth University (UK).

In an article published today in the journal Science, the two scientists have called for urgent action to “turn off the tap” and divert plastic waste away from the marine environment.

Categories: News, • Topics: science  plastics  research • (0) CommentsPermalink

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