SEA Currents: culture
Latest Update from Elsaesser Fellowship Winner
SEA Semester alumnus Michael Jacobson (W-72), the recipient of the 2018 Armin E. Elsaesser III Fellowship award, recently traveled to southern Taiwan to document the indigenous Tao people’s traditional boat building and fishing culture. This is his third update.
I am already on my way home from Taiwan.
After witnessing the Paiwan shaman, I got a chance to go to an old Paiwan village with slate houses called Lao Qijia. The tribe moved due to landslides from typhoons and I got to meet their chief who talked about the challenges faced by her people.
Stanford@SEA: Welcome to Palmerston
Today I woke up for morning watch anticipating a call of “Land ho!!” at some point in the following six hours. After three days at sea, today was the day we were to make it to our next island stop, a small island and coral atoll with, last we had heard, around 60 inhabitants. Nearing land, anticipation on the ship was high, as crew members lined the starboard rails, watching two small, metal boats belonging to local residents help the Robert C. Seamans navigate the reef and find a place to drop anchor.
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Today the class visited the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the site of the signing of New Zealand’s founding document. The Treaty Grounds sits atop a hill, providing a panoramic view of the Bay of Islands region. Our guide, a Maori man named Owen, walked us through the grounds and we gathered around Ngaatokimatawhaorua, a 35-meter-long canoe requiring at least 76 paddlers that the Maori builders first launched in 1940. Just up the hill we arrived at a flagpole marking the spot where the treaty was signed on 6 February 1840.
Dominica Climate Resilience Explorations
After a voyage full of hard work, learning, and science we finally made it across the Atlantic, finding ourselves in a place that looked like paradise. Many of us had different feelings about seeing land: sad, nervous, excited, confused, bewildered, and overwhelmed. After being at sea for a month, the plethora of lights on land was somewhat shocking. On the other hand, the majority of land was lush green mountainous terrain. We had one day of work and festivities on the boat to acclimate at Anchor.
Welcome to American Samoa
Family and friends of S-269 SPICE students and crew,
Day one of life aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans has come and gone!
Since arriving in American Samoa, students have experienced quite the plethora of shipboard activities. For the first couple of days, we as the professional crew throw a hopeful handful of spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks in their brains. The day started with wake ups and breakfast in two seatings of C watch and Others (non-watch standers) and A and B watches.
Sweet tiare flowers
Anticipation and excitement were humming in the air as the ship’s company rose this morning. After nearly four weeks at sea and 3000 nm sailed since the Chatham Islands, today was the day we would set foot on land again. Little did we know just how much this first acquaintance with French Polynesia would sweep us off our feet.
Life in a Polygon
Historical sites visited, Salsa danced, and cigars smoked. I’d say C-264 did Cuba the right way. Since we have plenty of science to do and navigational techniques to master, we are not sailing directly to Jamaica, we are working our way through an area of the ocean that coincidentally forms a polygon on the chart.
Cuba on the Cusp of Greater Participation in the Global Economy
There was a great deal of excitement aboard the Corwith Cramer among student crew and professional crew alike as we drew near our port stop in Santiago de Cuba. In our resources on board, Santiago was highlighted as the first capital of Cuba, a significant fortified port in the era of Spanish flotillas working their way from the mineral rich Spanish colonies in Central and South America back to the Iberian Peninsula and then as the cradle of revolutionary activities from the latter part of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century.
Pulling Back the Curtain
Our arrival in Cuba is marked with the salute of a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins passing freely beneath the Cramer between the port and starboard quarters. Our furling of the mainsail in preparation for our next port call is briefly interrupted by this informal welcome. As we motor into the Santiago canal, we are met by a mandatory coastal pilot who, upon arriving, graciously accepted our hospitality and a few gifts.
Leapin’ through Samana because we wanna
Happy Leap Year, friends and family back home! Today was our second day anchored in Samana Bay, Dominican Republic. Yesterday we remained on board, however today we spent a long day out exploring this island. Our day began with a beautiful sunrise and some delicious pancakes that Maddie assisted on, followed by several tours throughout different areas of Samana. Our fantastic tour guide Wilfredo Benjamin Kelly accompanied us all day and taught us about the history of the town (we learned that the majority of the people of Samana have English last names because of the diverse cultures represented).