SEA Currents: Jun 2017
June 14, 2017
I love diving for the hush quiet it brings. I can feel the lack of noise: it’s heavy and light at the same time, a thick film that shifts easily as I move. It feels like my breadth has just caught in my lungs. It’s thunderous, and wonderous. The muted melodies of the sea often envelope my thoughts, and I’ve come to associate a tangible silence with most aspects of the ocean.
June 13, 2017
This one-day symposium is the capstone experience for students from SEA Semester class C-273, Marine Biodiversity & Conservation. The event includes oral presentations of the students’ research findings and policy recommendations to a panel of invited experts, and contributes directly to international effort to protect the Sargasso Sea. Student presentations will be interspersed with related talks given by some of the invited participants. The public is invited to attend. Space is limited.
June 11, 2017
For this blog post I want to share something I wrote about our time in Palmerston a few weeks back. Its bit delayed, just like the time it took to process what an incredible experience it was.
Church hymns still resonating in our minds, the rhythm pulsing through our veins, we made our way to the gazebo area where Mary Marsters and her family ate lunch together on Sunday after church. We sat in silence waiting for all members of the family to arrive.
June 10, 2017
Captain Pamela says you find your true self at sea. Apparently my true self is a loud and hyperactive jukebox, with the poor hygiene and spikey hair of a 12-year-old boy.
It’s always nice remembering you have the capacity to surprise yourself.
June 09, 2017
Standing at the helm, I grasp two spokes of the ship’s wooden steering wheel, when the order comes: “Course ordered 355, steering 005.” I recite the order, following ship’s protocol, knowing full well it will send us directly into the path of an oncoming squall. I turn the wheel a quarter turn until the bow points directly toward the looming wall of black clouds.
I can see black streaks on the horizon, curtains of rain spilling out of sky. The junior watch officer barks out commands in preparation for the oncoming deluge.
June 08, 2017
How often do you think about the ocean? As inhabitants of a coastal commonwealth and a historic maritime city, we do so perhaps more than the average American. The more compelling question is “how do we think about the ocean?” How would we describe it? Beautiful and mysterious? Likely. Awe-inspiring? Perhaps. How about imperiled? Damaged? Hopeless?
Thursday, June 8 marks the 26th annual World Oceans Day, an idea that emerged from the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The World Oceans Day website describes the annual event as providing “a unique opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve the world’s oceans.” It notes that our oceans provide much of the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat, and help to maintain the climate that sustains us. Our oceans also inspire us. For one day in June, we are encouraged to acknowledge and celebrate these gifts, and to commit ourselves to improving ocean health through both activism and our choices as consumers.
June 08, 2017
You think about a lot of things while standing at the helm and steering a 140-foot-long tall ship. Like the drift of the swell that rocks the Seamans, my mind often wanders off over the horizon and into ill-explored territory. Lately, this has varied from wracking my brain for the lyrics to “Jessie’s Girl” to wondering whether anyone could make a wrap-up of all the news we’ve missed, Liz Lemon-style.
June 08, 2017
This World Oceans Day, the focus is on encouraging solutions to plastic pollution, and preventing marine litter.
At SEA, we’ve been studying plastic pollution for a long time. The plastic we study is collected in our neuston nets floating at the surface of the open ocean. Mostly, we find microplastics (pieces less than 5mm in diameter, usually broken down from larger objects).
It’s a serious problem, impacting marine life and degrading marine environments.
June 07, 2017
After 7 days at sea (8 if you go by the calendar), we have reached The Kingdom of Tonga. The ship’s calendar shifted at midnight and, just like that, June 6th never happened on the Robert C. Seamans. However, as some other posts have touched on, time morphs into a bizarre animal when rotating through watches, weather conditions, and the ocean’s restless motion.
June 05, 2017
“Help! I’ve been murdered by someone on the ship, somewhere on the ship, with a specific item!”
And with that, she collapsed on the quarter deck. The time was 14:37. A light breeze wafted through the 38 others gathered for ship’s meeting as the sky filled 7/8 full with cumulus clouds.