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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Mar 2017

March 03, 2017

Whales and Scones

Thomas Cooper Lippert, C Watch, Kenyon College

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

The day began at 1 AM with a misunderstanding. A disembodied voice chimed outside the curtain of my bunk cutting through the half-thoughts dreams make. The voice is telling me that it is time to get up, that it is 1AM, it’s a little chilly outside, and that my watch begins in thirty minutes. Normally I would say okay or yes or thank you or any sort of acknowledgement and the voice would quiet once more and find its way to the next bunk, the next curtain to hover outside. Ruefully, I would find shorts, a shirt, the safety harness, the water bottle, and whatever else I needed to begin (albeit a very early one) the morning. But this was not a normal day.

March 02, 2017

Gelatinous Beasts

Kate Trudeau, B Watch, University of Vermont

The Global Ocean

Over the past couple of weeks that we’ve been on the ship, we’ve been (obviously) deploying a lot of equipment to investigate the local waters and wildlife. For instance, the neuston net tow allows us to gather organisms from the surface and just below. Perhaps therein lies the problem. I don’t know. But to cut the story short (as Ben talked a lot about them in yesterday’s blog), we’ve been catching a lot of salps. For, as Rose said recently, “there is nothing out here but gelatinous beasts.” 1,509 salps in the pristine bucket alone is nothing to laugh at.

March 02, 2017

More Sleep, More Whales and More Waves

Elizabeth Phillips, A Watch, Whitman College

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean


After leaving Samana, Dominican Republic yesterday, we got underway and began motor sailing, which quickly became sailing (yay!!), towards Silver Bank.  Lots of things are different with this section of our voyage.

March 01, 2017

Sharing Ocean Knowledge

Maddy Ouellette, C-Watch, University of New England

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Hello internet world, family, and friends!

It is day 16 of our trip and it has been a rollercoaster of a time! Today is our last day anchored in Samana Bay, DR and also the official start of Phase II for the student crew. Phase II is when students are given more responsibility in lab and on deck during watches. Out watch leaders will start taking small steps back and show us how they make decisions and why those decisions are necessary.

March 01, 2017

Practically All Salps

Ben Claytor, A Watch, Bucknell University

The Global Ocean

When I signed up for my blog post day I picked a day in the middle of the trip between Russell and Wellington because it was the longest haul and it would have been the longest since anyone at home would have heard from me. What I did not account for were the lack of original topics in the middle of a cruise with minimal wind. Fortunately for me today was our deck practical!

March 01, 2017

2016 Elsaesser Fellowship Winner Final Report

Doug Karlson,

SEA Semester

Ex.Ex.Redux: Elsaesser Fellowship winner Timothy Dwyer retraces path of 1841 US Exploring Expedition

This past summer, Timothy Dwyer (W-160), the recipient of the 2016 Elsaesser Fellowship, assembled a crew of adventurers to follow in the path of Captain Charles Wilkes and the United States Exploring Expedition of 1841 (the Ex.Ex.) through Pacific Northwest waters. The Ex.Ex was the first global oceanic voyage of exploration, and the drawings and collections from the Ex.Ex. became the foundation of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History.  Timothy and his crew sailed his 35-foot sloop, Whistledown, through the same waters, and redocumented the natural history of the Salish Sea. His goal was to fill in the blanks of Wilkes’ historic ecological survey using modern survey equipment.

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