SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
August 08, 2018
Reflecting on our voyage to PIPA
8º 17.1’ S 170º 48.2’W
Ship’s heading and speed
118.4º 7.8 kts
Hello outside world, it's Kerry here. So many of my shipmates have already touched on the wondrous place that is PIPA with its stunning culture, biodiversity-not to mention the sweet snorkel spots. I believe I speak for everyone when I say PIPA will be dearly missed and when we return to our respective homes, we will recount our experiences here such frequency that you polliwogs may become tired of hearing how we swam with baby sharks or saw an awesome blue dragon slug.
But please give us some slack, this experience has honestly been life changing, I have myself to be way more capable than I had previously thought. I can now navigate a multi-ton vessel using just the stars (and Mars) and I can proudly say I carried 30-pound FAD 3 miles the midday sun beating down on the uneven terrain. This experience has expanded the horizons of what I thought was possible and I am so happy that I stepped out of my comfort zone and applied to this program.
Through our discussions and observations here on the boat, I have come to realize just how global the ocean is. In the past week this has become particularly evident to me as I have seen evidence of key issues we have talked about in class and on this blog, including plastic pollution. When you visit an uninhabited island, the last thing you would expect to see is some pop-culture knick-knack like a Spider-Man lunchbox, but there it is,
washed up on the beach. It is one thing to read about migrating plastics, but it is another thing entirely to see the effects of untreated waste in an area that have been purposefully removed from human civilization.
In other news, we saw a boat today and I was on lookout and there was a helicopter! Throughout our voyage there have been one or two sightings as well as a phantom ship, Bessie who creeped up on Bobbi C's Automatic Identification System (AIS) never to be seen in person. AIS is commonly used as a way for boats to communicate with each other so that they can avoid collisions with nearby vessels. Unlike Bessie, this ship was very much so within our sights with no AIS signal whatsoever. Some of the crew members aboard our ship were able to identify the boat as a purse seine fishing vessel. For those of you at home, purse seines are commonly used to catch large schools of tuna by encircling the group within a large net. As the morning wore on, the boat continued to be within sight, but no communication was returned. It appears that all too soon we will be seeing lots more traffic as we approach the port where we will be docked in 4 days.
Thanks for reading!
Kerry Anne Rogers, B Watch, Muhlenberg College
Shout-outs: I do not pretend to know how this internet system works but I would just like to specify that I am writing this blog on the 8th of August, which means I am not late in wishing my mom a very happy birthday!!! I love and miss you and hope my cats are being absolute angels in my absence. Your current birthday present is the knowledge that upon scraping my foot on an island, I tried to bait a baby shark into coming closer to me, but it did not work so happy birthday? Also at Katie and Kevin, can one of you bring face wash to Hawaii? Love ya!