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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Climate & Society


October 24, 2014

Top Ten Lists

Mara Scallon, C Watch, Northeastern University

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As we begin thinking about setting sail for Auckland tomorrow, there are lists all over the boat to help us get underway, ranging from the Captain’s list (I’m imagining it includes important things like clearing customs,
plotting our course, and getting a good night’s rest, among other things) to the steward’s list for provisioning (my fingers are crossed that fresh okra, pineapple, and tomatoes make their merry way onto the Seamans) to the engineers’ list (it probably includes things like “efficiently dribble oil on machinery” and “turn on things that make lots of noise” and “share weird facts with the rest of the ship”)...


October 23, 2014

Captain’s Orders

Elliot Rappaport, Captain

The Global Ocean

200 miles southwest of Cadiz, the wind is cool and dry from the northeast, almost dead astern as we steer our course towards Madeira. The motion is easy, and it’s quiet below. The miles tick by in what has easily been the best sailing run in the trip so far.

Around us, a river of ships comes and goes from the Strait of Gibraltar. Here in open sea, we spot one or two an hour, but our AIS screen shows hundreds, like spilled grains of rice.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,The Global Ocean: Europe, • Topics: c255 • (0) CommentsPermalink

October 23, 2014

Three Kinds of Fun

Susanna Keilig, C Watch, Roger Williams University

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Between many of my shipmates and I there has been an ongoing understanding about the ‘three kinds of fun’ that one can find in life. First, there is the fun found in reading a book, watching TV, and relaxing with friends and family.  Second, there is the more thrilling fun found from bungee jumping, partying, or exploring new places.  This has been one revisited by students and crew throughout the trip, especially when alongside port.  I believe the third kind of fun is the most difficult to fully comprehend, but probably one I will better understand by the end of my SEA involvement.


October 22, 2014

Make the Strange Familiar and the Familiar Strange

Yaz Kelly, C Watch, Carleton College

Today was an on and off rainy day in Suva. The past few days—our port stops in general, actually—have been packed with so much activity that the rain and the quiet mood in me that it brought was a nice relief. Lately, I’ve been thinking about a concept in anthropology that was introduced to us in class back in Woods Hole (doesn’t that seem ages ago): strive to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange.

The phrase seems to suggest that while away from home we will experience the strange.


October 22, 2014

Daily Tidings

Courtney Moore, A Watch

The Global Ocean

Today we’ve had our best wind yet with a steady northeasterly wind that has carried us almost exactly one hundred nautical miles today according to our taffrail log.  This is especially impressive given the fact that we were hove to for more than two hours this morning collecting samples.  Our morning science station consisted of the regular deployment of Secchi Disk, carousel, Reeve net, and Neuston tow.  Our departure from Cadiz yesterday, sailing into the Atlantic under our four lowers past the morning ferries, marked the beginning of phase two of our leadership and nautical science courses.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,The Global Ocean: Europe, • Topics: c255 • (0) CommentsPermalink

October 21, 2014

Learning to Like New Things

Sarah Williams, C Watch, Colorado College

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Aboard the Robert C. Seamans one day seems to last a lifetime, as well as pass by in a second. Scrambling into my bunk each night as I lay my head on my pillow it feels almost impossible that it was in fact only twenty-four hours ago when your shipmate nicely cooed you awake that morning by saying your name with an ever-increasing tone of urgency. Before boarding the ship our head resident in Woods Hole, Jeremy, told us to treat the ship as a new country. He explained that with the boat comes a new language, new customs, and a new culture that we would get used to, but that it would also take time.


October 21, 2014

Roman Relics

Greg Shoemaker, C Watch, Colgate University

The Global Ocean

“Not a single British ship sank – both the Spanish and French were devastated, and far worse than the battle was the storm that followed… but at least we got Admiral Nelson.”

Such was spoken candidly by an archeological specialist at the Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Historico Centro de Arqueologia Subacuatica, during our first day in Cádiz. On this date, 209 years ago, the royal British naval fleet sailed in a V-formation (a noted specialty of Admiral Horatio Nelson’s) to separate the two lines of ships constituted by the Spanish and French naval forces.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,The Global Ocean: Europe, • Topics: c255  culture  spain • (0) CommentsPermalink

October 20, 2014

Research in Fiji

Rebeca Murillo, A Watch, Boston University

For the last three, almost four weeks the students aboard the Robert C. Seamans have been busy learning the language of sailing, getting use to standing watch and becoming accustomed to ship life. In addition, we have been working on student projects because after all this is a sailing school vessel (although sometimes we forget). Usually all we want to do when we first dock at a new island is explore every foreign inch, yet time has to be set aside to find individuals who will answer our burning questions about all sorts of subjects. From Troca shells to sharks and religion to traditional artifacts, our interest range is broad. So venturing off with a buddy to find helpful locals has been a part of this experience.


October 20, 2014

Past is Present

Jennifer Seely, B Watch, Kenyon College

The Global Ocean

Visiting different places in Spain by boat gives us a great perspective on the diversity of this nation. In Barcelona, they spoke Catalan rather than Spanish. In Palma, they lived on island time and had villages and agricultural terraces built into the cliffs. In Cádiz, they speak with an accent that sounds like a gentle lisp, and a short bus drive inland reveals deeply colored rolling farmland and bulls with big horns. Tomorrow, we leave the dock and head for Madeira, a Portuguese island!


October 19, 2014

In the Galley

Devin Duplaisir, C Watch, Cornell University

The Global Ocean

As I sit in the Main Salon, waiting to relieve Amie as the dock watch-stander at 0200, I have begun to reminisce on the events of days passed, and what an amazing adventure this has been thus far. From sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar with a flock of flamingos leaving us on our port side, to making new Spanish friends and sharing drinks and tapas together, this has truly been a once in a lifetime experience. And now I sit alone in the Main Salon, tasked with the job of writing the blog for today’s events.


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