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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

February 23, 2019

Los Haitises National Park – Dominican Republic Field Trip

Jeff Schell, Chief Scientist

Above: Exploring the interesting geologic formations in the karst caves of Los Haitises. Below: Kayaking the meandering waterways of the mangrove forest in-between the many islets of Los Haitises; Bird Island – one of the many islets forming Los Haitises (little hills) National Park, DR.;

Ship's Log

Current Location
Samaná, DR

Ship’s Heading & Speed
At anchor

Sunny and WARM with intermittent, passing squalls

Souls on board

Welcome to one of the most unique ecosystems on planet Earth -  Los Haitises National Park; a region of Samana Bay, Dominican Republic  where geologic processes, biological diversity, and human history coalesce into a truly unique environment.  Millions of years ago tectonic forces uplifted ancient coral reefs above sea level where rain, weathering and erosion events have created a mosaic of small hills or islets covered in lush vegetation, populated with diverse fauna, and separated by meandering waterways of mangrove forest. 

Several of the small islets have eroded to form massive caverns and caves that have served as home and shelter for numerous human cultures over the millennia as evidenced by Taino petroglyphs and pottery artifacts mixed with the more recent graffiti of local fishing communities and now, unfortunately,  uninformed tourists. 

The magical beauty of the mangrove forests have, over recent decades, been the center of numerous controversial debates regarding the societal benefits of agricultural and/or mass tourist development versus the value of conservation, ecotourism, and leaving nature in its place. 

Thanks to the expert guides Victor and employees from San Lorenzo Kayak Co. such conversations, insights, and inquires enriched our experience hiking among the caves and paddling through the mangrove forests. 

More to follow from the student’s perspective in the days to come. 


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