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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 26, 2019

The adventures continue!

Janell Donegan, A Watch, University of Utah


Above: Drinking fresh coconuts on Orona; below: Baby shark doo doo (baby black tip reef shark)

Ship's Log

Current Position
4° 33.4’ S, 172° 18.5’ W

Ship’s Heading & Speed
Drifting next to Orona Atoll

Sail Plan
Drift through the night and then sail on to Nikumaroro

There’s a 30% chance that it’s already squalling, but mostly sunny

Souls on board

What an exciting night we had!

As the previous blog posts have mentioned, we anchored at Orona two days ago, and the plan was to stay there until tomorrow morning. During the night however, the ship  started getting a little close to the reef. So to get out quick we had to drop our stern anchor (don't worry though, we also dropped a GPS point so we could find it later), pull our main anchor up, and motor away from the atoll. Then we spent the rest of the night just drifting, using the wind and waves to keep us from the reefs of Orona. 

Luckily for us though, our adventure last night didn't mean the end of our time at Orona. We motored back to atoll this morning and carried on with business as usual, which is to say, we kept snorkeling and taking trips to the shore. Of course our business was slightly interrupted this morning when we had to go and find the dropped anchor, which was heroically recovered by some of the crew and our resident diver Brandon.

Most of the other blog posts have already talked about all of the amazing things we have been seeing on this trip, but it really cannot be emphasized enough how incredible this entire experience has been. I've been lucky enough to come to a place that most people will never have the opportunity to see in person, and I've been able to do everything from swimming with sharks to learning how to eat a coconut fresh from the tree (pro tip, when you are lacking a very large knife, you have to whack both sides of the husk before trying to rip it apart).

I don't want to sound like a broken record, so I won't spend too much time discussing what it's like living on a boat (it rocks) and I won't go on about all of the amazing coral and sea life that we have seen (trust me, it's unbelievable). And even with everything we've already done, it's not even close to being over yet. Tomorrow, we head to Nikumaroro atoll, and then on to Winslow reef, so let the adventures continue!

Shout out to my fam, I love you guys, give Boomer a hug for me!

- Janell Donegan, University of Utah, A Watch Baby

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s287  study abroad  life at sea  pipa • (6) Comments
Previous entry: Adventure on Orona    Next entry: The sea and the stars


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 Trish Patetta on July 29, 2019

Hi Natalie and everyone! I get very excited when I see a new date on the website and then I can read a new post about your adventures! I know you are having a trip of a lifetime! You are experiencing nature that I will only see in episodes of National Geographic or Jacques Cousteau! Stay safe and soak in the experience! All is well at home in NC! Cooper is still keeping us busy!

Love & hugs,
Mom & Dad
(Trish & Mike)

#2. Posted by Carmen Norman on July 29, 2019

To be young and adventurous, what a combination!!!!!!

All of you are amazing.  Enjoy every second you have and keep posting.  We are all green with envy.!

Tell the young lady drinking from the coconut to bring some for us!

thank you for sharing.

#3. Posted by dave donegan on July 29, 2019

Hi Janell
Glad to hear you are well and enjoying yourself. Sounds like a great experience and that you are benefiting from the trip. We were in NH last week for the family reunion and everyone wants us to pass along their love.  Andrea, Ben and Edward made the trip.  Had a great time and did some fun hikes on Mt. Washington and else in the White Mountains. 

Much love,

PS I’ve been following the blog and every time I read someone’s post I’d check to make sure that you were still listed as a soul on board.  Good to see you get up to bat.

#4. Posted by Susan Wolter on July 30, 2019

Long article in yesterday’s Berliner Tagesspiegel (ask Helen!) about Robert Ballard’s current attempt to find Amelia Earhart’s plane near/on Nikumararo. Keep your eyes out- and for his National Geographic documentary to be broadcast in October. Fantastic what you’re all doing- and sharing.  Keep up the good work!

#5. Posted by Adrienne Simoni on July 30, 2019

Wow Michelle you look like you are really enjoying that coconut! Hope you are taking a lot of pictures.  Hope the weather stays good for all of you.  Cloud is missing you!
Love Mom

#6. Posted by Jim Simoni on August 01, 2019

Good to see you up close. Fresh coconut must be yummy. I bet you will want to buy coconut milk on your return. Meditate and be happy. Love you



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