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Current position of the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

July 26, 2018

Arriving in Orono

Makaila Lyons, C Watch, McDaniel College Alum


Above: Makaila pointing at Orona atoll as we approach our anchoring location. Below: close-up view of the pink coralline algae formations. Photos by Makaila Lyons

Ship's Log

4°30.9’S x 172°13.7’W


Humid with a light breeze, ~ 30°C

Souls on board

Ahoy everyone! Makaila Lyons here to blog your ear off again, and what perfect timing because we anchored at our second port stop today, Orona!

C watch started their morning watch at 0700, and we could already see Orona not very far off in the distance. We did our station 028 deployments on this watch, in order to gather more of the aforementioned data, and then continued on to our anchoring location. There was a lot of sail-handling and prep during our watch as well, as we quickly approached the atoll. Once we anchored, we took care of some housekeeping things, got both of our little boats in the water, and took in the beautiful sights. There's definitely more work than you would think when it comes to getting ready to sail, or ceasing to.

With all of that said though, we were still able to get a snorkel trip in at 1500! Our watches change quite a bit when we aren't actively sailing, so we break out into starboard and port watch. Even after a long morning, I was siked to be in the starboard watch because we were the ones who got to snorkel today!

We took the two little boats out around the bend of the atoll, and were able to snorkel for about an hour. We all saw some really cool corals in Kanton, but for me, today's views were top-notch. The rock-like coral formations that we were swimming amongst were stunning colors of pinks, greens, and even some blues. I felt like I was grooving through some 70's scenery. Apparently this is actually a type of algae on top. Besides the
beautiful colors, they were huge. Unlike some other snorkeling locations, it was hard to avoid hitting them, and at times swimming nearly on top of them was necessary (and super cool!) Can it get better than this? Yes. There were reef sharks here too. We were snorkeling away and suddenly someone pointed one out towards the deeper water. We all watched from the surface level, and tried not to make any really sudden movements, and avoided looking like injured fish. The shark swam around, and we just watched it thriving in its natural habitat. Although not the thickest shark you could imagine, it was probably close to 5 ft. from end to end. Not only that, but there was a second one a few minutes later. Absolutely amazing.

What felt like too soon after we got in the water, we headed back to our home away from home. The best thing to come back to after snorkeling is a meal. Sabrina made salmon, roasted root vegetables, and spaghetti with a garlic sauce (personal favorite). We got a sweet treat of brownies for dessert too-yum! As I'm writing this around 2100, we've started our rotation of anchor watch. Thankfully I had mine early on, so I can get some solid sleep tonight before another jam-packed day of snorkeling and hopefully exploring the land tomorrow. A shower to rinse all the salt off, and a bunk with a fan in my face are calling my name right about now. Thank you for reading!

All my love,
Makaila Lyons, C Watch, McDaniel College Alum

Shout outs for my loved-ones: To anyone who cares to keep up with my adventure, thank you for following along, and thank you for your continued support! I'm not sure if this will be the last time I write or not. Mama: When we were in Kanton, I was on the snorkeling mission that saw close to 10 dolphins. It made me miss you a lot, but it felt like a reminder from you to be strong, and that everything will be okay. I can't wait to see you and have some crock-pot mac and cheese and taco salad when I get home. Papa: How's the office without me? Does anyone take as many pee breaks as I did? I'm really excited to come back to work (can you believe that?) I hope you were able to get an office figured out. Also, I was doing a zooplankton count in lab yesterday, and we found some shrimp larvae, and all I could think of was you saying "SHRUMP" lol!

My siblings: I love you all oodles. I think about your happy faces a lot to get me through when I'm feeling down. I hope you all see me as someone to look up to as I continue this journey. My closest friends: Hi! I love you and miss you a lot! I want lots of coffee dates, good convo, and some delicious food when I return. Thank you for encouraging me to go on this great adventure. @ Lacey Butz specifically: we had fries with old bay on them yesterday (I think? Time is not real here) and I couldn't help but think of your smiling face and all the good memories we have in MD.

Zachary: Hi Lovebug! Wow I miss you so much! This time away has made me appreciate all our time together so much, and I know when I get back, I will appreciate our time together even more. I hope you've been enjoying your weekly videos! I know yours give me something to look forward to every week, and although they make me miss you more, they remind me how proud you are of me, and I know that I can share all of my experiences, stories, and jokes I've picked up, with you when I get to talk to you again in 18 short days! Can you please give our cat-son a nice jerky treat from me? Also!! Very important- can you please call Discover on my behalf because I obviously can't pay my credit card bill by August 1st. If they give you a hard time, can you pay it and we'll sort it out when I get home? Thank you!! I can't wait to see you (and an iced coffee) and give you the biggest hug at Logan. I love you to PIPA and back, and so much more! Love always, Bean.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s281  pipa • (1) Comments
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Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Rose Lyons on August 01, 2018

BEAN!!!  I miss you so much and seeing your car in the driveway every day makes me miss you even more!  Your trip sounds amazing and I look forward to everyone’s posts, I have learned so much just from reading them.  I can’t wait to see you, and do show and tell, and yes there will be plenty of mac and cheese and taco salad for you when you get home.  Country kitchen is really coming along, Ano is good, and I love having bear home with us.  I will see you SOON!!! Love mama



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