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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Mar 2017


March 15, 2017

Time at Sea

Sabrina Hutchinson, Steward, S-253 & C-259 Alumna

The Global Ocean

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since sailing, it is that time is undefinable. Hours of watches meld into one another, days bleed into weeks; you blink and the semester is over. How can that possibly be? The sun rises, sets, and the stars set in as night comes as it does every day, and yet time seems to slip away in our ship’s wake faster than on land.


March 14, 2017

Fifth Time’s a Charm

Anna Cerf, A-Watch, Middlebury College

The Global Ocean

Our final day in Wellington shaped up to be, for many of us, one of the best. People woke up still gushing about the film we saw last night, Hunt for the Wilderpeople. To anyone at home looking for a movie recommendation, definitely look into it.  The movie was particularly endearing to A-Watch as it featured haikus which have somehow become our main form of communication. Anyways, today, after free time this morning, our flock took the cable car up to the Botanic Gardens to visit the meteorologists at Met Weather. They taught us some basic weather concepts and gave the play-by-play of the past couple weeks’ worth of weather.


March 13, 2017

Snapshots of Cuba

Sophie Davis, Sailing Intern, S-258 alum

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

What an eye-opening, colorful, vibrant few days we have had exploring Santiago de Cuba. Yesterday evening, I spent several hours on anchor watch, staring out at the full moon rising over the Sierra Maestra Mountains that surround the city. My mind was full of the smells, sounds, images, and interactions of the day and I found myself reflecting on just how fortunate we are to have spent time in Cuba.


March 13, 2017

Wellington: The Sequel

Sophie Homans, B Watch, Carleton College

The Global Ocean

Well, we’re back to the city of windy Wellington after 24 hours with some crazy waves. What better way to start off being at port again than cleaning the ship, so we kicked off today with field day. We all swept and scrubbed and scraped our designated areas of the ship until it was shining clean. We then had a fire drill before sitting down to a couple of hours of study hall. Some of us had procrastinated with our projects when we were docked here the first time and promptly forgot how it felt to try and do work when were underway.


March 12, 2017

Comfort Zones

Michaela J. Kenward, A Watch, University of New England

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

This morning, both students and crew were dragged out of bed for what felt like an even earlier wakeup than usual (thanks a lot daylight savings time) in order to head out for our second day of adventures in Santiago de Cuba.

Many of us stayed out later than usual last night since liberty didn’t expire until 0000 (although I was snug in my bunk well before that), but despite being sleep deprived, we were all eager for another day in this strange, intriguing place.


March 12, 2017

Facing Tangaroa

Mattias Cape, Chief Scientist

The Global Ocean

Our journey along the NZ coast has been shaped by the diverse perspectives, aspirations and experiences of SEA Semester students, crew and faculty aboard the Robert C. Seamans (RCS). We’ve found some common threads – an all-encompassing love for hot chocolate, for example (almost to the point of needing to ration said beverage – tragedy of the commons anyone?), or our general appreciation for swim calls a stone’s throw away from an active volcano.


March 11, 2017

Bienvenidos a Cuba

Justin Bongi, A Watch, Oberlin College

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

“Bienvenidos a Cuba,” - Welcome to Cuba - says a man in olive green as he searches my bunk. “Bienvenidos a Cuba,” says a man in a red-starred hat as he searches my backpack and pockets. I’m wearing my best shirt for the arrival in Cuba. We all are. Polo shirts and modest skirts are pulled from bags as the few articles of clothing that don’t smell like sweaty sailors. We’re also all on our best behavior as we welcome a myriad of officials onto our boat, being quite unsure of our relation with this country and it’s citizens.


March 11, 2017

NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmosphere

Jennifer Lutes, A Watch, University of New England

The Global Ocean

Yesterday was one of the best field trips yet, especially for the science nerds! NIWA, New Zealand’s version of NOAA, invited SEA Semester to tour their research vessel, RV Tangaroa, and their facilities in Wellington. NIWA was super generous, and a new connection for SEA was made.


March 10, 2017

Amidst Ever-Changing Plans

Elizabeth Phillips, A Watch, Whitman College

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Hello!  I write to you after just finishing up class as we are entering the port of Santiago de Cuba-so excited to be here!  I think many of us are. But getting here, and the exact plan, has been ever-changing.  As Chris, Jeff and Craig keep saying, interacting with Cuba means being flexible and adaptable to the circumstances and permissions they give us.  For example, our scientific sampling has come to a halt as Cuba has not given us research clearance, which is something Cramer and SEA Semester was granted last year.  But all is still well. We are going to Cuba after all!


March 09, 2017

Where the Wind Takes You

Lukas Stocker, Whitman College

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Going where the wind takes you took on new meaning this week. 15-20 ft swells aided by force 9 winds made docking in Port Antonio more difficult than docking with the ISS. Captain cited something about trajectories, momentum and wind making entering the harbor too dangerous. I wasn’t about to argue as I clung to the railing and looked up at waves.


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