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SEA Currents: News

July 18, 2014

Microplastics in ocean causing rising concern amongst leading scientists

SEA Semester

Microplastics – microscopic particles of plastic debris – are of increasing concern because of their widespread presence in the oceans and the potential physical and toxicological risks they pose to organisms.

This is the view of two of the world’s most eminent authorities on the subject, Professor Kara Lavender Law, of Sea Education Association (Woods Hole, MA), and Professor Richard Thompson of Plymouth University (UK).

In an article published today in the journal Science, the two scientists have called for urgent action to “turn off the tap” and divert plastic waste away from the marine environment.

Categories: News, • Topics: science  plastics  research • (0) CommentsPermalink

July 18, 2014

Kanton: Population 35

Bredd Pratt, A Watch, San Francisco State University


Hello there land dwellers! Us seadogs have set eyes on the beautiful island of Kanton (or Canton) today, the only human inhabited island of all the Phoenix Islands. Population:35 Elevation: just a couple meters. We left our previous spot near Enderbury yesterday and sailed throughout the night to approach our new destination. We took our sweet time sailing so that we could deploy the Hydrocast, MOCNESS and do a neuston tow near an uncharted seamount.

July 17, 2014

Bay of Biscay

Buckley Willis, Rhodes College


Hello, and welcome aboard the Corwith Cramer!

My name is Buckley Willis and I am more than pleased to be reporting to you live from the Bay of Biscay. This is some exciting news because it means that we one wave closer to our next destination, Lisbon, Portugal! And since I, and most of the crew, have never been to Lisbon the spirit aboard the ship could not be any higher.

July 16, 2014

Dolphin Watch

Doug Licitra / Alexander Morrow, Saint Joe’s University / Bard College at Simon’s Rock


Hey all,
Doug and Alex here.
After a futile attempt at sailing yesterday, we are now motor sailing because of the lack of wind. That being said, the day still turned out to be productive. First, C-Watch (Doug, Alex, Mo, Evan) had a personal writing session with Professor Dan regarding our second paper topics. We then transitioned into an interesting all hands class meeting in which we learned about historical fishing industries of the area, particularly as they pertain to Herring, Sardines, and Codfish.

July 16, 2014


Matt Hirsch, Third Assistant Scientist


It has been a long couple of weeks, but we finally heard the cry of “Land Ho!” as we approached the Island of Enderbury. There are about 10 palm trees on the island, some other vegetation, and a plethora of birds. While I was asleep this morning, the crew on watch dropped the anchor but it did not hold. On our second attempt to anchor in the afternoon we found a shallower location and paid out the anchor slowly rather than just letting it go.

July 15, 2014

C254 Blog 15 July 2014

Stephen Brennan, Bridgewater State University


Good Morning to all back home! Stephen here, reporting on the Corwith Cramer’s daily functions. We are currently.SAILING! After motor-sailing for the last couple of days since leaving Douarnenez, everyone was getting anxious to get back under sail. The winds are finally coming at us from the west allowing us to set the Four Lowers and the JT as the sun shines over the Bay of Biscay. This morning, while I was on dawn watch, dolphins protruded out of the water around us! The fascinating creatures cruised ahead of us, exciting the crew and students alike to see such fauna in the pre-dawn moonlight.

July 15, 2014

Anticipating PIPA

Jan Witting, Chief Scientist


We crossed the equator on Sunday morning, the day we entered into PIPA. There is always a celebration of the event, crossing the line is a big thing for a sailor, for the first time in particular.  Of course around the ship nothing changes, the same trade winds push us along, the same waves stretch into the horizon.  Drawing lines into the high seas can seem like a funny business!

July 14, 2014

We made it to PIPA!

Rachel Greenough, B Watch, Second Mate, brand new shellback


We made it to PIPA!  After more than 1500 nautical miles, we motor-sailed into the Phoenix Islands Protected Area right on time at 2000 last night.  As we hove to in preparation for our first PIPA superstation, we were greeted by the passage of a squall and a truly spectacular moonrise. Since our first squall, B Watch has greeted weather phenomena with a round of the song game, in which we brainstorm and sing lyrics that feature a particularly relevant word (rain, sun, clouds…).

July 14, 2014

C254 Blog 14 July 2014

Becca Mellema, Whitman College


Au revoir, Douarnenez… Hello, Bay of Biscay! (For my mom, it’s pronounced: Do-are-nuh-nay. I finally figured out how to say it).

We woke up bright and early to finish dawn clean-up and to prepare our beautiful vessel for another wonderful voyage. This time, though, we were bound not for another French port, but to Lisbon, Portugal! As excited as we all were, we still had a brief moment of sorrow for the crepes and croissants we have to leave behind. They will be missed.

July 13, 2014

A Cookie Cutter Shark

Mary Engels, 2nd Assistant Scientist


Wow, what a day…  Late last night and during the wee hours of this morning the science lab kicked into gear and deployed our standard hydrocast to collect water sample from the deep.  After 1000m of wire out, the carousel came back aboard full of water and surprises.  While the hydrocast is normally a device for collecting water samples and CTD data, this particular morning, we collected another very special sample.

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