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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

September 25, 2019

Welcome to American Samoa

Kerry Whittaker, Chief Scientist


Above: SEA Semester class S-288 in American Samoa! Below: Students experience a traditional Samoan family feast, the umu.

Ship's Log

Ship’s position
Docked in Pago Pago

Windy, rainy, and tropical weather (perfect chance to test out those new foulies)

Souls on board

Welcome to American Samoa and the Robert C. Seamans, Class of S-288!

Late last night, one of the two weekly flights from Hawai’I to American Samoa arrived at the Pago Pago airport with 26 special visitors: the SEA Semester class of S288.  The students (and all of their gear!) boarded one of the fanciest buses on the island, open air, with custom bright paintings of the island’s steep jungle mountains and crashing South Pacific surf.  The bus rolled slowly along a curving seaside road, headed to the Student Sailing Vessel (SSV) Robert C. Seamans docked in Pago Pago harbor.  This is the sailing vessel these students will call home for the next six weeks.  Bleary eyed after a day of traveling, yet buzzing with excitement, the students of S-288 were introduced briefly to the ship’s most important safety features and how to use the heads.  Then they went to sleep. 

This morning, 26 new crewmembers awoke on their ship for the first time. Gazing out their portholes, they saw a blustery day with a streaming rain, wind and waves blowing into the Pago Pago harbor.  With the dawn, they realized that they were on a boat off of a small island in the middle of the South Pacific, about to embark on a true adventure. 

We’re excited to welcome these 26 students, as they transition from class on shore in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, to a sailing journey across the South Pacific.  The class of S-288 will sail from American Samoa, to Tonga, to Fiji, to New Zealand.  Along our way, we’ll experience and interact with cultures and ecosystems across the South Pacific as we explore concepts of sustainability in the context of environmental change.

We’ve expanded our learning community here.  The students of S-288 now join a team of professional crew on the ship—new mentors and teachers on their journey.  We also open our perspectives to new people and places that have already shown us deep hospitality and generosity.  On this first day of our program, we headed off to the home of a good friend, artist, and teacher on the island who welcomed us into her family’s home, and treated us all to a traditional Samoan meal (feast!), the umu. 

Welcome S-288 as you begin your voyage and your adventure!  For family and friends back home, please follow along with us here on our class blog.   Much more to come! 

- Chief Scientist, Kerry Whittaker


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 Pilar Keyes on September 25, 2019

Thank you Kerry!  I hope the weather clears up soon:o)

#2. Posted by Paul charbonneau on September 26, 2019

Thank you.

#3. Posted by Yolanda Carroll on September 27, 2019

What a most wonderful learning experience….we are so glad to hear from Carlin S. and her teachers and friends. We are sending this from the Outer Banks of No Carolina where large waves have been crashing and all sorts of water related information is being gathered by the Army Corp of Engineers…...No hurricanes in sight this week- hope you don’t have any either.    N and P

#4. Posted by Caroline Calamita on September 27, 2019

So glad to see the pictures. Hope the weather clears and the sea is cooperates. Look forward to more pics and updates.

#5. Posted by Carrie ONeil-Smith on October 20, 2019

What an amazing journey! Thank you for sharing!



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