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Sea Education Association | SEA Currents

SEA Currents: Feb 2017

James M Egan, C-Watch, Knox College
Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

I am not going to lie when I say that I don’t know where to begin with this post. So much has happened on the Cramer and at port stops that it is difficult to focus on something super memorable.  So I’m just going to write about my initial impressions about being at sea for such a long period of time. I also want to write this post in honor of our visiting artist Peter Stone, who sadly was not able to join us for the rest of this trip.

Elisabeth Palmieri, C Watch, Union College
The Global Ocean

This morning I woke up for Dawn watch at midnight. This means I would be up until 0700 sailing, navigating and taking care of the boat. I was expecting another rough night watch of stormy seas and pitch black but was pleasantly surprised to be woken up to a beautiful sky bright with stars. Around 0200 I took over as lookout. Clipping in to the bow I knew this wouldn’t be as miserable as it was the time before. Without a cloud in the sky I had a beautiful view of the world around me. I could see the seas and the stars, distracting me from how cold and tired I was.

Anna Cerf, A Watch, Middlebury College
The Global Ocean

Growing up, I prided myself on having a decent sense of direction. I generally played the role of “navigator” with whomever I hiked, drove, or ran with.  I figured that coming into SEA Semester I would be able to transfer this ability and that hopefully it would help compensate for my complete lack of knowledge re: anything having to do with boats.

Michaela Squier, C-Watch, Oberlin College
Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Today has been an exciting day aboard the Cramer, with whale sightings, whale calls, music and an art gallery. The day started during my night watch (2300-0300). It was a lovely watch with the usual bioluminescence under the bow and a great deal of shooting stars. After a bit more sleep I went on deck to discover there had been a large number of humpback whales and Heather our resident whale sound expert with the help of Molly and Amina had gotten recordings of their sounds.

Cullen Girolamo, B Watch, Kenyon College
The Global Ocean

0300 was a little bit too late to have no ideas for today’s blog post. I had considered writing a very dry, comedic post about scientific deployment safety and had been putting off actually writing by taking a reading break above deck. That wasn’t going very well either. I was being distracted by the scenery. We had just come upon White Island, the most active volcano in New Zealand, which had a large cloud of steam coming from the middle of the island.

Elsbeth Pendleton-Wheeler, A Watch, Smith College
The Global Ocean

For what felt like the hundredth time that night I was abruptly awoken by my body catching slight air as the bow of the ship crashed down into yet another swell. The focs’cl cabin where I and seven of my peers live seems to toss us around the most, as we are in the bow of the ship. A few seconds later however Shem’s voice called out softly through my bunks curtains, telling me it was time to wake up; I had watch in 30 minutes. I lay still, once again feeling the relentless motion of our ship, before the business of my day began.

William Fitzgerald, Knox College
Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

The Freshness of Dominica:
When you find yourself in the natural harbor of Portsmouth you cannot ignore the dense wall of green the volcanic mountains created by Dominica. They scream to the weary sailor, “YOU ARE HERE AND YOUR TOILS HAVE PAID OFF!” Dominica is not the kind of country I was expecting at all. It was so lively; within five minutes of being on land I saw a scooter doing wheelies in the street. A small insignificant event to probably everybody around me but for some reason it warmed my heart.

Alex Adamczyk, A Watch, Carleton College
The Global Ocean

While I woke up at 1020 this morning, the day really began at 0000 (midnight). Leaving our permit zone, we could at last deploy the neuston net into a sea of bioluminescent organisms after our third gybe of the evening. On campus around 1245 I can usually be found writing an English or Poli Sci paper in a corner of the arts building, but last night I stood with my watchmates on the bowsprit furling the jib (aka folding it into a taco shape for storage) beneath the stars.



Patrick Dalton Sheehan, B watch, Northeastern University
Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

When I realized that it was my turn to write the blog, I will admit that I felt rather daunted as to what I would write about. There has been so many different moments throughout this trip that anyone would be hard pressed to figure out what to say. While my parents would probably love for me to wax on about all of them, I feel that the best option would be to keep myself limited to the most manageable of them, as this would also keep me from talking too much.

Amina Carbone, B-Watch, Smith College
Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Today as I start my blog post, I think back to our amazing port stop in Dominica. This was not an island I had heard of before I came to SEA Semester, but while on it I fell in love with its mountainous terrain and natural wonders. I was walking with a group of friends, Michaela (Big Mike), Maddy, Lukas, and Will, when a man came up to us and offered us a tour to go see a waterfall. Maybe it’s the atmosphere of being in an entirely new place, but on a whim our group accepted the tour of this licensed guide.

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