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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

March 05, 2014

S251 Weblog 05 March 2014

Brianna Coughlin, A Watch, Saint Michael’s College


Enjoying the Va’a canoes with the locals (From left to right: Taylor, Matt, Midori, Shoshana, Elaine)

Ship's Log

Current Position
23°  7.0’ S x 134°  58.0’ W
Anchored in Mangareva
Sail Plan
Anchored until March 6th
Scattered squalls

Today is our last day in Mangareva before we head off to Hao and eventually end our trip in Tahiti. As you’ve probably read in prior blog posts, the weather has been iffy at best in Mangareva.

The first full day was absolutely gorgeous and a couple of us had the chance to hike Mount Duff, a steep local mountain. As we began our way up the mountain, we ran into Professor Moohono, who saw our sweaty faces and quickly told us that we had twenty minutes until we reached the top. Well, about an hour and a half later, after many slips and stumbles up the muddy banks of the mountain, we made it to the top. As we reached the final ridge, we saw the full scale of Mangareva with an atoll encircling the island we were standing on and numerous others.  Saying that every slip on the hike was worth it is an understatement. The view was 360 degrees around with views of the bay, the many coral reefs, and Mount Mokoto, another steep local mountain. We also approached Moohono later on in the day after his predicted timeframe was a little off; you might say we felt a little misled. He simply said that if we had known the real amount of time, then we might not have put in the effort to make it to such a fantastic spot. Ultimately, I think we were all glad he had told us twenty minutes.

Today, we had a fantastic experience with some local men and their racing canoes called va’as. A va’a is like a very long, slender kayak with an outrigger on one side. Each person in the canoe gets a paddle and the style of paddling is alternating. They brought out a six person canoe, three two person canoes and a single person canoe. We all piled into one canoe or another and learned the ropes from there. The va’a is difficult to balance in, so as the morning wore on, you would see students quickly flip and pop out of the water with large smiles on their faces. It was impressive to see the locals paddle after we had tried all morning to get into some sort of rhythm; they were incredibly fast and synchronized with each other in an instant.

Lastly, Happy 13th Birthday to my little brother Eric! I wish I could be there in person, but I’ll make it up to you! Don’t grow up too fast; love you little bro. Also, hope all is well with my family and friends.

- Brianna


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