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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Mar 2017


March 09, 2017

A Rose’s Point of View: Zooplankton, Plants, and Souls

Rose Edwards, B Watch, College of the Atlantic

The Global Ocean

First off, I’d like to say a huge I love you to a rather wonderful man named Brett Phinney, as this marks our two year anniversary. I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to find you. I’m sorry we can’t spend this day together, but know that I’m still loving you and missing you from the other side of the world.

Now, on to the blog post.


March 08, 2017

Donuts, Tea and Clean Water

Kate Porterfield, B Watch, Middlebury College

The Global Ocean

It is now Day 3 in Wellington and I am becoming quite attached to our temporary home here alongside Queen’s Wharf. Elliot chose a great place to dock the Seamans because we’re right next to a playground with a slide that must have been built for adults. It’s so tall. I was honestly scared to go down it at first but thanks to Sophie2 and Ben I finally conquered my fears. Our prime real estate got even more prime today when a mini-donut food truck decided to park on the sidewalk right by our boat. We’re all really hoping that it’ll stay a while.


March 07, 2017

The Soggy Socks Saga Continues…

Lydia Wasmer, A Watch, Colby College

The Global Ocean

Ah…let me begin by saying how lovely rain is. It is a mysterious thing. It has the power to slip into clothes and most annoyingly, you guessed it, my socks…again. We braved the Cook Strait (a.k.a. the vortex of doom…well…not really…but the ocean laughed at me when it sent a wave over the rail and soaked me). This trip has mostly been about trying to find new ways to keep my socks dry. Have not found a solution yet…I should just stop wearing socks altogether.


March 06, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Peyten Sharp, B Watch, Harvard College

The Global Ocean

We sailed through heavy winds the past couple days, but made it through Cook Strait last night and anchored in Port Underwood. Since we hadn’t seen land in 12 days, all hands were on deck celebrating as we pulled into the scenery; a sheep farm was up on the hillside, and birds were flying over the green cliffsides, swooping down towards the water. Much of our celebration was silent appreciation; some were cheering.


March 06, 2017

Tales of Gales

Molly Pollak, B Watch, Barnard College

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Today was our second full day of gale force winds, with rolls as steep as forty-two degrees (that’s almost half of a right angle!).  Below decks it was sometimes chaotic - clattering pots and pans from the galley, snacks and cups flying off of tables, etc. - but manageable. I finally understand why every object has a specific and secure place because things aboard were nicely stowed and barely shifted with the steep rolls. On deck the ocean was mesmerizing.


March 05, 2017

One Year Later

Anna Jortikka, C Watch, Boston University

The Global Ocean

If someone had asked me one year ago what I thought I would be doing in a year’s time, ‘steering a boat all alone in the Pacific Ocean’ probably would’ve been one of my last guesses, but that’s where I found myself this morning. I applied to this program because I wanted to do something fun and unexpected and so far both requirements have been fulfilled. Since it seems like most other people have already covered the ‘fun’ part I’m going to talk about some of the things I didn’t expect.


March 05, 2017

The Push and Pull of a Life at Sea

Justin Bongi, A Watch, Oberlin College

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Right when I’d begun to feel competent! That, of course, is the moment the sea chose to humble me.

Make no mistake about the skills we’ve developed. Call out a line and any one of us students can find, haul, make fast, and coil it in under a minute or so. Tell any of us to conduct a boat check and you can bet your salty butt we’ll scurry into the depths of the engine room and return with the current exhaust temperature and number of gallons in the day tank. Break the coffee machine (god forbid) and we’ll engineer a fix with just a toothbrush, some fishing line, and a teaspoon of seaweed.


March 04, 2017

Valve Day

Madeline Hughes, C Watch, Wellesley College

The Global Ocean

Periodically throughout the day the watch schedule must be checked in order to know where you are to report ten minutes before your allotted shift.

Deck, Lab, Engineer, the dreaded Dish, or the once in a blue moon blessing from above (Sabrina) Steward.

My number fell under engineering on Thursday. 22 report to Clare. That’s me reporting to Clare for whatever the engine room may hold for me. When my mate and scientist learned I’d be in engineering they immediately made ooos and ahhhs of how lucky I was; Thursday is valve day.


March 04, 2017

Taking Time to Listen

Dr. Heather Heenehan, NOAA, Northeast Fisheries Science Center

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

If I had to come up with a personal slogan it would be “take time to listen.” As a marine mammal scientist and acoustician at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, MA, just down the street from SEA Semester, it is my job to take time to listen to the ocean and use listening as a tool to learn about marine animals including marine mammals. But in my time interacting with people of all ages through various outreach and teaching opportunities, I have realized that too often people don’t take time to listen and that this important part of our environment can easily be lost or forgotten.


March 03, 2017

Sunscreen 101

Eileen O’Connor, A Watch, University of Vermont

The Global Ocean

Today was a big day aboard the Bobby C. Just passed noon we officially have sailed over 1000 nautical miles since leaving port in Auckland!!!  Day 9 of our journey from Russell to Wellington and we are surrounded by the deep blue ocean on all sides with no land in sight.  We’ve settled into our many routines: watch (six hours on, twelve hours off), eating (six meals a day), showering (every two days), sleeping (whenever possible), reading (when you can’t sleep), journaling (a way of life at sea) and tea time (with a spoonful of peanut butter because we don’t eat often enough).


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