SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
June 18, 2014
Anchored just offshore the west coast of Maui, near the historic town of Lahaina, Maui. This historic town was once an important commercial port built on the profits of whaling and sugar cane plantations. Today it is a popular tourist destination due to pristine waters ideal for snorkeling/diving, sport fishing, access to the inter-island ferry terminal.
The students were soooo excited last night as they finally moved aboard their new home – the SSV Robert C. Seamans. All students are now comfortably moved in to their personal bunk space, have learned how to move about the ship safely, and have met the crew. Captain Beth Doxsee made sure we started to develop a harmonious shipboard community by asking each person to share one funny, personal fact along with the typical name and hometown. We now have a glimpse of each person’s particular sense of humor. Our talented and friendly galley team served up a delicious meal of roast chicken, green beans, salad, and a colorful mix of local grown root vegetables. Students were sent to bed early last night and there were no complaints since their event –filled day had begun at 0630 on the island of Kahoolawe.
What an amazing, special place and such a rare and humbling experience to have been invited to visit Kahoolawe. I encourage anyone reading this blog to visit the Kahoolawe Island Restoration Commission website to learn more about the important and tragic history of the island the tremendous amount of hope and work that is being directed toward island restoration.
Students were able to visit important cultural landmarks, learn about the challenges and successes of land use/water management and plant restoration, conduct a snorkel survey of a healthy reef ecosystem, and enjoy the serenity and stunning scenery of Kahoolawe. A sincere thanks to all the KIRC staff who made our stay a safe and welcome educational adventure.
Today the students are back on shore working with Dr Jack Kittinger and Ekolu Lindsey of the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. Students will be getting their hands dirty planting native vegetation to help restore an eroded watershed and follow up with another reef snorkel survey to establish baseline conditions of reef health. Just one more amazing experience for the students onshore before we set sail tomorrow!
Stay tuned, much more to follow soon.