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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: The Global Ocean: New Zealand

November 27, 2014

Turkey Day in Kiwi Land

Sam Gartzman, A Watch, Beloit College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Happy Thanksgiving from the Robert C. Seamans!

Today was a very busy day for the students of S256. We started the day with breakfast on the ship. We had our normal ship cleaning responsibilities (heads, soles (floors), deck wash and galley cleaning) after breakfast. Shortly thereafter, we made our way to the Museum of Wellington City & Sea. There we met with two local historians. The first gave us a very interesting presentation on Maori migration to New Zealand.

November 26, 2014

How to Make a Ship Look Really, Really, Really Good

Nina Whittaker, C Watch, Kenyon College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

We mustered on the quarter deck at 0800 this morning to see Queen’s Wharf in the bright sunlight. People were milling around (and inexplicably commuting to work in full suits on scooters), looking at the boat with great interest. Feeling self-conscious, the crew of the Robert C. Seamans sprang into action for an extreme makeover like no other. The two more worn sails (the mains’l and the mainstays’l) were taken down to be repaired/replaced, and the other sails were furled tightly, with the seams folded into cascades of precise white waves. Our watch ventured aloft, climbing up the foremast to furl and tuck the squares’ls.

November 25, 2014

SEA Semester Undergraduates Utilize Ocean Health Index to Investigate Climate Change & Conservation


For Immediate Release: October 30, 2014

Woods Hole, MA— This fall, undergraduate students from top colleges and universities nationwide are utilizing the newly created Ocean Health Index to explore environmental issues related to climate change, conservation, and sustainability of the world’s oceans in a groundbreaking new study abroad program offered by Sea Education Association. SEA Semester: The Global Ocean, is the first undergraduate program in the world to incorporate metrics of the Ocean Health Index – a comprehensive, global evaluation of the human impact on the world’s oceans – into curriculum. Following a highly selective application process, these forty-four students are spending six weeks on shore at SEA Semester’s campus in Woods Hole, Massachusetts and six weeks at sea, sailing as crew and scientists onboard SEA Semester’s state-of-the-art ocean research vessels, operating in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

November 25, 2014

The Way to Windy Wellington

Laina Gray, A Watch, Canisius College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

The way to Wellington was not a steady sail, but the day began as all important days do. C Watch came on deck for the 0700 to 1300 watch, greeted by the morning sun driving away the cloud cover and fog banks. But as the cliché goes, it was the calm before the storm. What began as a day beautiful enough for a carousel and Neuston tow quickly became a wet, rolling passage through the eastern side of Cook Strait (the waters that divide New Zealand’s North and South Islands).

November 24, 2014

Mung is Thwarted, B-Watch Prevails!

Chris Marshall, B Watch, SUNY School of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF)

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Thus far we’ve enjoyed six full days of life on New Zealand’s oceans. I think my peers and I have reached a consensus that we feel like those six days have felt like two weeks. Having a watch rotation each day has been incredibly different from the normal 9-5 day that most of us are used to. Each time we stand watch it seems that we have begun a new day, which is all sorts of bizarre. However, we are all becoming accustomed to this new lifestyle one way or another.

November 23, 2014

All’s Swell

Allisa Dalpe, B Watch, Connecticut College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Bright and early this morning, around 0700, my B Watch counterparts and I found ourselves on the bowsprit bouncing up and down in the heavy swells. That’s one way to wake up quickly. After striking the jib because the windy conditions overnight had calmed down, the four of us made our way onto the netting around the bowsprit (clipped in of course; don’t worry parents) to furl the sail, or in other words, tie it down so it would be safely stowed.

November 22, 2014

I Get By With a Little Salp From My Friends

Kella Woodard, B Watch, UMass Amherst

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Dear Mom & Dad,
When you pick me up at the airport, just look for the red, shriveled lobster.  There is not enough sunblock in the world to keep me from burning. Please send help. 
Love, Kella

But really, today was a great day.

November 21, 2014

Hot Gatorade

Nicholas Matesanz, C Watch, Grinnell College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Hello friends and family of the Seamans crew! I write this to you over a steaming cup of hot Gatorade. Hot Gatorade? Yes. Hot Gatorade. It’s only our fourth day at sea but I’ve already learned quite a few tips which promise to prove useful throughout life. One of these tips is that imbibing cold liquids will make the body sad. The other is that consuming electrolytes, suspiciously scoopable and powder-formed though they may be, will make the body happy. These two tips reside under the subheading of “general personal well-being,” which is where the Gatorade comes in. I picked this habit up, I kid you not, from the Captain himself. Thanks Cap.

November 20, 2014

Moving South

Eli Steiker-Ginzberg, B Watch, Oberlin College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

The days are starting to fold into one another, almost like vacation but we are working harder than any vacation that I’ve ever been on. Today marks the day we round the northern most point of the North Island of New Zealand. This point is called Cape Reinga, known in the Maori language as Te Rerengawairua. I am not the only one aboard the ship to wonder if there is an appropriate tattoo that is coupled with this particular event in our maritime adventure (sorry Mom).

November 19, 2014

Birthday Bioluminescent Dolphins

Kate Morneault, B Watch, Stonehill College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Hello world and happy birthday Nick Matesanz!  It’s been a beautiful day at sea - sunny and blue skies with a nice breeze.  Today started with a wake-up call at 0230 since I had watch along with the rest of my group from 0300-0700.  During this shift I worked in the lab with Kella, Chris, and our watch officer, Julia.  There was a lot to learn as it was our first day in the lab.  We learned how to do the hourlies and process pH and microplastics.

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