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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

October 24, 2016

‘Au i Ke Kai Me He Manu Ala

Tehani Louis-Perkins, B Watch, Whitman College

SPICE

Ship's Log

Current Position
18° 28.3’ S x 178° 11.8’ E

Location
Leaving Suva

Ship’s Heading & Speed
195° 7.0 knots

Weather
Windy, cold, stars

Souls on Board

After a night of dock watch I have to say waking up for breakfast this morning was pretty rough. Apparently while I was struggling to get out of bed we had to move the Seamans for boats that were trying to dock. To my surprise next to us was another massive cruise ship filled with people that were eager to explore Suva and the rest of Viti Levu. It’s sort of amazing how much Suva changes when there are cruise ships compared to when there are not. The people act differently in my opinion and the city itself is just so much different. Once everything was set with the ship we began our travel to the village of Navakavu to visit a protected area and no take zone.

Outside of Suva looks so much different and is so beautiful. Not only does it lack massive buildings and mass amounts of people but it is also green and lush. We passed through quite a few villages until we reached Navakavu where we met Dr. Leo Dutra who is a professor at the University of the South Pacific and does coral surveys of this no take zone. Before we could enter the zone we had to get permission from the chief of this village so we drove to his house and presented our offering. The manager of the no take zone spoke with him in Fijian and explained our situation. Thankfully we got approved by the chief to enter the water so we ended up taking two motor boats out to the reef.

When we finally got out to the reef I honestly was a little afraid to jump in the water because the other reefs we have encountered so far were either dead or dying. To my great surprise the reef was alive (YAY) and teeming with life! There were schools of fish, colorful coral, and even quite a few anemones. It was so nice to be in the ocean swimming and seeing a very alive reef.

Once we got back to the Seamans everyone was frantically trying to get last minute shopping and wifi before getting back underway. I was honestly too tired and lazy to do any of that so I stayed back and helped Bex with going to the market. It was so fun to shop with Bex but I also realized how much work Bex does to shop for us and was disappointed that no one had helped her earlier. Bex did at least 5 trips carrying this massive bag filled with melons, squash, mango, and all other fresh produce from the market. I am so thankful we have someone like Bex as our steward who will do all that crazy and amazing stuff for us.

After that crazy hour it was finally time to get underway. ‘Au i ke kai me he manu ala: to sail across the sea like a bird. We as students and crew are about to go on the longest leg of this trip, possibly the longest ocean crossing of our lives. It’s going to be crazy, epic, and absolutely life changing and I am definitely ready!

- Tehani

P.S. Aloha wau i ku’u ‘ohana (Tahi/Duke/Mom). Ha’o wau ia kakou. Wala’au me kakou ma Aotearoa.

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