SEA Currents: News
October 16, 2015
About Those SEA Semester Messages in Bottles….
On SEA Semester voyages, our students often take part in the time-honored tradition of scrawling a message, rolling it into a bottle, and plunking it into the ocean. Where these communiqués end up can help us to better understand ocean currents—and they’re a fun way to reach strangers we may never otherwise meet.
In the last week alone, we’ve heard of two separate instances where beach strollers have spotted our students’ bottles—an intriguing enough coincidence that we felt we had to share it on this blog.
Bermuda or Bust
Our first story comes from Elbow Beach on the southern coast of Bermuda. A local man named Graham Smith discovered our message-in-a-bottle about 200 days and some 1,000 miles after its launch from the SSV Corwith Cramer during our Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean program, the Royal Gazette reported.
As it turns out, Graham already had a connection to SEA Semester. His cousin is Dr. Robbie Smith, curator of the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo, who has traveled aboard the Corwith Cramer as a visiting scientist and served as a guest speaker with our Marine Biodiversity & Conservation program. Graham has since shared the bottle with oceanographers at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences.
In an Irish Cove
On the other side of the Atlantic, we also learned of an English woman who happened upon one of our bottles while vacationing near the sea in County Cork, Ireland.
“Funnily enough, I had just slipped off a rock and hurt myself and was feeling rather sorry for myself but decided to continue my walk anyway and was then rewarded by finding your lovely messages just a little farther on,” the woman wrote in a letter that reached SEA Semester Professor of Oceanography Dr. Audrey Meyer this week.
Students on our summer Transatlantic Crossing voyage deployed this bottle while sailing on the Corwith Cramer offshore of Ireland and southwest of Fastnet Rock. Audrey estimates that the bottle traveled some 300 miles in less than a month to reach the cove where it was found.
The Tradition Continues
Earlier this week, students currently sailing with our fall term Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems program tossed their own bottles from the SSV Robert C. Seamans as they headed to Fiji. We’re excited to see where the next ones bob up.