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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

May 21, 2017

Stanford@SEA: Three Sheets to the Wind!

Adam Behrendt, Stanford


Photos: Stanford@SEA

Stanford@SEA 2017 is on the move once again. At 2213 Friday evening, after 38 hours at anchor to the lee of Isle Maria, the ship's company hoisted the Bobby C.'s anchor and got underway for our next stop - Rarotonga!

The weather is cooperating. We are finally being pushed by the west-blowing trade winds predicted for this voyage, and our estimated time of arrival to Rarotonga is 0900 Monday morning.

38 hours may seem like a short time to accomplish a great deal of work on Isle Maria, and it was. Yet we were able to accomplish an impressive ten missions to and from the uninhabited atoll, its reef, and inner lagoon.  In
large part, this was all possible because of stable weather and a good anchorage. The stars were also incredible, and with so many of the stars comprising the Milky Way visible, it was easy to imagine several thousand of them aligning in our favor.

Student-sailor scientists were stood down from their shipboard duties to focus on the tasks and exploration for which they came. A plethora of roosting seabirds was observed on the island. Instruments documenting 24-hour-temperature cycles were set out and retrieved from the surrounding waters, and students, several of whom had never before snorkeled on a tropical reef, were welcomed to the wonderful world of coral-appreciating people.

Many of us have no idea how lucky we are. Data is still being downloaded and processed, but even with significant coral bleaching and evidence of commercial fishing, the reef supporting Ile Maria still ranks among the most impressive many of us have ever seen.

Stealing a last victory before we departed, Robbie S. sighted the first school of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) seen this trip and hooked and landed a beautiful specimen. Not only did the fish make for a wonderful sushi lunch today, but its heart and other viscera are going towards several of students' projects. Or, as we so often say, they are going FOR SCIENCE!!

Spoiler alert: several of the students are now sporting much sportier haircuts, but I'll leave them to out themselves in a future update.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans, • Topics: stanford@sea  science  life at sea  megafauna • (0) Comments


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