SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
July 11, 2018
Science on the high seas
10°15.96’ N x 163°49.9’ W
Hi Everyone! Makaila Lyons here to get you through the 5th, and still very exciting, blog post of our journey thus far. We're steadily sailing around 6-7 knots towards PIPA, riding on some pretty hardy winds that have thankfully died down a little since yesterday. Clouds have taken over the sky for a longer period of time today, relieving some of the heat, and some of the sunscreen. There's been light rain too, which I find refreshing when it's not heavy. We are still hitting large swells though, which is making for tricky helmsman-ship, and even more difficult deployments. This being said, we haven't been able to make our past two deployments because of safety concerns. Tonight we are hoping to get in another deployment, but only the motion of the ocean is really in charge of that.
As Nate had mentioned in his blog post yesterday, we were able to get a really great Neuston tow sample yesterday morning, however. I was delighted to be a part of the experience, as I was in lab for our morning watch cycle as well. Among the very exciting Man o' War, which I avoided, we got a whole bunch of fish larvae, as well as a number of mysterious brown specks. Working in the lab, I had originally thought they were microplastics, and considering how many there were, you could say I was less than happy. This did serve as a reminder for me as to why I'm here; I love the ocean and the ecosystem within, and being here on this journey is allowing me to learn so much more about something I love deeply.
Furthermore, I was reminded just how much humans can have an impact. Luckily, the chief scientist quickly revealed that these specks were actually made of iron, not plastic, thanks to a quick magnet test. Although
relieved that all of these specks weren't microplastics, the question remains...where did these specks of iron come from, and how did they get in our Neuston tow? Perhaps a question to be answered on C watch's cycle tonight, when I am in lab again from 19:00-01:00.
In other news we are a day closer to PIPA, and the excitement and antsy-ness is definitely building. I think most of us are excited to sleep in a bed that doesn't feel like a really aggressive cradle, as well as to step foot on land again when we get to Kanton. It will also be nice to have some other company besides those of us that are on the boat, and the two boobies that have really made themselves at home atop our lines (yes, I did
get pooped on.)
That's all for now!
Until next time, Makaila Lyons, C Watch, McDaniel College Alum
Now it's time for some shoutouts to my loved ones! To Mama and Papa: I am safe and trying to adjust to the way things run here on the boat. It's absolutely been a challenge, but I am learning, and growing through the hard times. I'm very excited to get to PIPA and start snorkeling and doing more science. SEA you soon! To my siblings: I miss and love you guys a lot, and happy early birthday Garrett! I'll make sure to get you some Andes when I'm home. To my closest friends: thank you for following along thus far! I can't wait to share my experiences and see your beautiful faces when I get home. To Zachary: I miss you a ton. I wish you were here, but I am doing my best to have courage and make you proud. I think about you daily, but especially when I am looking at the stars on night and dawn watch. I feel comforted by the fact that you are also able to look up and see the same stars. I can't wait to see you, and most importantly, I can't wait to get ice cream and coffee together when I get home in 32 short days. I love you to PIPA and back, and so much more!