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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 18, 2017


Devin Kuhn, C Watch, American University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Jacob Atkins and I at the helm, #reppingAU

Ship's Log

Current Position
3°07.68‘S x 171°11.39’W

Ship’s Heading & Speed
050°, 5.2 knots

Sail Plan
Back to Enderbury after science deployments - Mains’l, Main Stays’l, Fore Stays’l, and Jib are the current sails that are set

hot, humid, windy (ESE), rain clouds around us (waves ranging between 5-7ft)

Souls on Board

It has officially been a week since we set sail from American Samoa! C watch was the first standing watch to sail the SSV Robert C. Seamans. The first night was rough as most of my watch got sea sick (I still haven’t gotten sea sick), so there was a lot to do for a small amount of people. Fast forward to a few days ago, my watch was back on their feet and feeling great! All of us have experienced the wonders of the lab and how to use all the equipment, which process the samples we take out of the water. The other part of watch is deck watch. We generally have around four people who rotate to do boat checks (check the deck, below deck, dry stores, and the engine room to make sure all is well), lookout, weather and navigation, and steering at the helm (all at the top of the hour). My personal favorites are the helm, engine room, and lab.

The past 24 hours have been my favorite so far. At 1430, we started afternoon class where we practiced our gift to the I-Kiribati (people of Kiribati, pronounced Kiribas), which is the gift of a song (“Lean on Me” by Bill Withers). Then, we had our first lab practical exam, which consisted of each student walking to each station to either perform a task or answer a question (one question involved M&Ms - best exam ever!). Once that was over, I finally got to do some laundry and take a shower. After this, I got to hang out with students whom I hadn’t really sat down with since the shore component because of our busy rotations. We watched the stars and saw the Milky Way, summer triangle, Southern Cross, Scorpio, Sagittarius, satellites, and many shooting stars.

C watch had dawn watch (0100-0700), and Adrielle and I were in the lab with Abby. I usually barely make it through this rotation as we don’t get much sleep before it, but last night was incredible! Between the three of us (and some help from the deck hands), we recovered the Neuston net, processed the Tucker Trawl deep and shallow, processed the Neuston net, emptied  and rinsed the hydrocast, prepared all sampling bottles for the morning watch, sampled pH and chlorophyll-a, and did two 100 counts of plankton (all done with 30 minutes to spare). We saw very interesting organisms under the microscope and in the processing like some hyperiids, euphausids, comb jellies, lantern fish, copepods, ostracods, pteropods, and crab larvae.

I was still very energized after this, so I stayed up for the rest of the morning and saw something unbelievable - LAND! WE SAW LANDDDDD!!! At about 0800, the seabirds were increasing from three shearwaters to 100 boobies, shearwaters, and terns - super exciting. Then, Captain Chris informed us that we could see Enderbury from the boat. You might think I’m crazy for being excited about seeing all of 7 palm trees, but I remind you that we haven’t seen any type of land since the 10th of July. Therefore, these past 24 hours have been GREAT.

My projects are going pretty well, too. For my Conservation and Management class, I have been researching public health parameters and policy in Kiribati, with a focus on diabetes and tuberculosis. For the Advanced Policy class, I am writing a policy brief on biosecurity in PIPA and Kiribati. I’m excited to see how the people living on Canton Island will respond to my interview questions.

On an end note, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM!! I hope you are celebrating well with dad and Ginger. Sending you guys best wishes with lots of love and many hugs and kisses. I miss you guys so much; can’t wait to finally see you in a month in Lisbon! I’d also like to give a big shout out to all my friends, family, and teachers (hope you’re reading this Mr. Rocha) for supporting me through this adventure.

- Devin

Previous entry: Firsts    Next entry: Arrival at Kanton Atoll


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 Berrin Kuhn on July 24, 2017

Devinim !!
After a thousand times looking at your picture and reading your blog !!! I am so proud of you Devinim !!

What you are doing in PIPA, for me is fascinating and exhilarating.  I am amazed that with your incredibly busy schedule that you are also finding time for enjoyment. I can hardly wait to see you and hear about your research and your finding. Your thesis of intertwining medicine with PIPA is such an incredible idea.

When you wrote in your blog about seeing the stars, seeing land for the first time, working in the lab, I could just picture in my head how happy and excited you are!! 

I am missing so badly, but I am so happy that you are doing what you are doing!! 

I Love You, Devinim.  The Best Daughter in the World


#2. Posted by Paul Kuhn on July 28, 2017

Hey Devin—Great post.  After reading it for at least the 20th time this week, it gets better and better!!  Mom and I are so super proud/happy/excited that work onboard is making you happy.  What an opportunity to make a difference out there!!  So glad that you have found so many different ways to enjoy the project, the boat, the people, and the research.  We are really looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks, complete with stories, pictures, smiles, everything.

Love,  DAD

#3. Posted by Daryl Cooke on August 01, 2017

I’ve been following your trip.  Looks amazing!  The picture of you at the helm made me so happy.  I hope you are enjoying every minute of it.  Can’t wait to hear all about it when you get back.  Hugs!

#4. Posted by Berrin Kuhn on August 01, 2017

I am so happy that there are only a few days left to see you. In the meantime, hard to wait !!We are so excited to see you…Everyday we are reading the blog and enjoying all the fascinating writing, and I am announcing to the world to where you are and what you are doing!!
I am in Turkey right now and getting Manti ready for you. Maybe time passes by for you quickly, but not for Mom!!
Love you cicegim!! Mom

#5. Posted by Berrin Kuhn on August 04, 2017

First of all thanks for the photo !! All you guys look great and happy !! And seeing this photo makes me so happy as I am reading the blog ...
I hope you guys are not seeing sharks anymore!
I know everybody has a really busy schedule, but enjoy every minute !
Love you cicegim..

#6. Posted by Zerrın Guzel on August 08, 2017

What a wonderful experıment!! I am so proud wıth you for decıdıng to do thıs!!
We mıss you a lot thıs summer, but I know how you are excıted about thıs journey ...
Always make your dreams happen ilke thıs!
Love you, Teyze



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