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Sea Education Association | SEA Currents

SEA Currents: Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Sadie Cwikiel, Stanford University

Our latitude is steadily ticking down to 0º00’, and with the equator looming ever closer on the horizon, it strikes me how far we’ve sailed in just ten days - over 1300 nautical miles. We have not seen land nor any sign of humans since leaving Hawaii, our only company some boobies and tropicbirds. Days have melded together into a series of 18-hour watch cycles instead of days governed by the rising and setting of the sun. At only 2ºN, we are truly experiencing the Equatorial Pacific.

Kerry Anne Rogers, B-Watch, Muhlenberg College

Hey y’all!

Today’s installment of Pacific Adventures ft. the Robert C. Seamans is brought to you by Kerry. If you have been keeping up with the blogs, you know we are on our 9th day of sailing! From our first day aboard, our watch leaders have emphasized the importance of line handling, making sure that we can all safely and securely set and take down sails.

Sherie Yang, Villanova University

Hello One and All!

This is Sherie here, your fellow novice sailor from the Best of the watches: B watch! Crazy and colorful things continue progress on this ship-anything ranging from the education of drawing on grapefruits for celestial navigation (mine almost rolled off the deck), to the hype of fishing up an old boot.

Rosie Wigglesworth, A-Watch, Harvard University

Hi Everyone! My name is Rosie Wigglesworth and I’m bringing you the 6th installment of the S-281 blog series!  We’re almost a week and a thousand nautical miles into our journey.

Makaila Lyons, C Watch, McDaniel College Alum

Hi Everyone! Makaila Lyons here to get you through the 5th, and still very exciting, blog post of our journey thus far. We’re steadily sailing around 6-7 knots towards PIPA, riding on some pretty hardy winds that have thankfully died down a little since yesterday.

Nate Johnson, C Watch, Amherst College

Hello Everyone! My name is Nate Johnson and I’m here to bring you the fourth installment in the S-281 blog. For several days now, we’ve been able to cruise along the trade winds towards Kiribati, and today we just crossed the line marking 1000 nautical miles to PIPA.

Annabel Spranger, C Watch, Denison University

Hi y’all! It’s Annabel, or AB, as I’m known on the ship. We are on our fourth day at sea, and honestly I’m starting to lose track of time. When I’m not on watch, I’m in class or eating. And when I’m not in class or eating, I am curled up in my bunk, being rocked to sleep by the waves.

Brian Desrosiers, C Watch, Northeastern University

Hello all!

Brian Desrosiers here to kick off our student written blog posts. Currently, we are three days underway and are making great time. Adjusting to life at sea has been a cumbersome task. Irregular sleep patterns, only seeing water as far as the eye can see, and sea sickness are all things that we have to get used to.

Jan Witting, Chief Scientist

July 7th on board the Robert C. Seamans, Southwest of the Hawaiian Islands. For a few hours now, we’ve been sailing at steady 8-9 knots with a fine trade wind on our backs. Squeezed between the tall Hawaiian Islands, the winds funnel into the jets that are now speeding us along toward the Phoenix Islands. With 25 knots of wind come commensurate seas, and the Seamans is lunging down some waves as the bigger ones catch our stern and we accelerate away.


The students of S-281, Protecting the Phoenix Islands (PIPA), will join the SSV Robert C. Seamans in Honolulu by July 5th. They will end their voyage in Pago Pago, American Samoa on August 13 after a three-week visit to the Phoenix Islands.

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