SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
July 23, 2018
Welcome to Kanton
2°48.4’S x 171°42.8’W
Alongside the dock, Kanton Island
30°C, steady trade winds from the East
The last 24 hours are a bit of a blur, but they seem to have lasted forever. I have heard this means you are living in the moment. It is hard not too when the moments are as sweet as they are. Last night the folks here on Kanton threw us a welcoming reception. What a welcoming, full of song and dance from all of us. We got to experience some of Kiribati's traditional culture with songs and dances, performed by the children and adults. We in turn performed some of our traditional culture, including the classic, Shout! I can't remember the artist but it's the one that goes....You know you make me want to Shout, put your hands up and Shout! A little bit softer now...a little bit softer now...a little bit louder now....you get the idea. It was a blast. Along with the song and dance was the amazing feast, provided by the locals and by us...Thank you Sabrina! (our amazing Steward). It involved a freshly slaughtered pig (just for this occasion) chicken, rice with an incredible ginger turmeric coconut milk sauce and many other delicious things. I digress, the food was amazing, but the camaraderie was the best. Our connections with the folks on the island were strengthened last night. It feels a bit like home here now.
After an amazing night came today, packed with more snorkeling, some folks saw two 10 foot Manta Rays! Too Cool! We also explored another part of the island across the channel that we entered the lagoon through. Speaking of this channel, the water can really move through there. The vast majority of the water from the 2ft local tide moves through this one cut in the reef and it can, so I have heard, get up to 8 to 10 knots of current....that's a lot of water moving.
This area we explored was very interesting, there was still a lot of romance from WWII and afterwards, but nature has done a pretty good job taking it back. There were some good groves of coconuts which was pretty exciting. The Coconut is a true gift to mankind. Shelter, water, fire and food all in one plant...Amazing! There was sea grape strewn over the landscape. One could guess that there was a good freshwater lens on this part of the island. Looking up you could even see the green of the lagoon reflecting into the clouds.
- Nate Bears, Engineer