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SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans

August 05, 2018

Learning Through Experience

Cody Hoff, A Watch, Willamette University

Spend a Semester at Sea

Above: Bird's eye view of Nikumaroro from Christ's drone camera. Below: One of the baby black tips near the island.

Current Position
4°59.4’ S x 174°19.1’ W

Ship’s heading and speed
130° at 5.3 knots

Ship’s Sailing Plan
Heading South to Pago Pago, American Samoa

Souls on Board

Hello Everyone,

It is I, Cody Hoff, here to bring you another blog post from this incredible journey that we have all been on. It is incredible how the time has gone by as of lately. We had an action packed few days at the island of Nikumaroro and it was everything that I imagined it would be and then some. I was excited to swim with the black-tip reef sharks but I was amazed at how close they would get to us. There were a few different occasions where there were sharks swimming around me and even right behind me and its very much unlike anything that we are shown about sharks through the media, movies, and as a surfer. These were relatively small as they ranged from little adorable 1 foot babies to decent 6 footers, but I was just so amazed by them. I've always had a love for sharks ever since I was young, but to be swimming among these beautiful creatures is a feeling that is hard to express. Snorkeling has progressively gotten better at each island and here there was just such an abundance of fish in the big schools and just the variety and size that we have not seen at the previous 2 islands.

Earlier today myself and half the group spent half the day on the actual island just walking around and exploring the lagoon and we saw some very cute 1 foot baby sharks. It is just so cool to be so close that I honestly didn't think would happen. This island looks something out of a postcard as it is so perfect and seems like untouched by humans. There were a number of boobies on the island and it seems to be the spot where they come to procreate as the babies had fuzzy little heads. This trip has had a number of wildlife that I have never seen before and I'm not sure if I ever will again. As you will see in the pictures the island looks so amazing and the water is just so clear down here in the South Pacific Ocean. I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can before heading to the west coast of the U.S. where the waters are a lot colder and murky.

We have started sailing south from Nikumaroro and now it is hard to believe we will arrive in American Samoa in less than 1 week. Though most of this trip has been mostly learning skills on the ship with sailhandling and just trying to get sleep when we can, we have had some good academic discussions. The next 4 days will be mostly all the students working on their papers and projects that are due this week. This study abroad has been fun and a good change from your typical school semester where it is more about learning through experience and not so much emphasis on the tests and writing papers which makes it a lot more fun.



I would like to wish my wonderful mother a Happy Birthday! I know she would love to be on the beach in San Diego with me and my sister, Keilani. I will be there in about a week and looking forward to doing some surfing there and enjoying the sun as well before I head back to Oregon. To the rest of my family and friends, I am having a fun time and look forward to seeing you or talking to you soon. I'm on the home stretch!!!

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: s281  study abroad  life at sea • (1) Comments
Previous entry: Blog post number 29    Next entry: Another Day, Another Copepod


#1. Posted by Paul O'Connor on August 15, 2018

Thank you for sharing this great story Cody!



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