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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: culture

October 15, 2019


Jillian Galloway, C Watch, Bowdoin College

Spend a Semester at Sea


Today, we departed Nuku’alofa under a hot afternoon sun and fair wind. The dock where the ship has spent the past few days moored is tantalizingly close to the outer islands and light green coral reefs, so to find myself traveling back onto greeny blue water is a long-awaited treat. It’s a tall order to report out all that I have experienced in the past week, so to sum it up I will simply say I am humbled.

April 26, 2018

Latest Update from Elsaesser Fellowship Winner

Michael Jacobson, W-72

SEA Semester

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.

Categories: News, • Topic: culture • (0) CommentsPermalink

May 27, 2017

Stanford@SEA: Welcome to Palmerston

Lia, Stanford


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.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans, • Topic: culture • (0) CommentsPermalink

February 22, 2017

Waitangi Treaty Grounds

Jeni Bennett, C Watch, Whitman College

The Global Ocean

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.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topic: culture • (3) CommentsPermalink

December 13, 2016

Dominica Climate Resilience Explorations

Hannah Newhall, Gabrielle Ment, Rob Balloch, Stefani Johnson and Danny Lucas, B watch

Oceans & Climate

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.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Oceans & Climate, • Topic: culture • (2) CommentsPermalink

September 27, 2016

Welcome to American Samoa

Clare Feely, Assistant Engineer


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.

May 06, 2016

Sweet tiare flowers

Gabrielle Page, 2nd assistant scientist

Ocean Exploration

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.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topic: culture • (0) CommentsPermalink

March 12, 2016

Life in a Polygon

Emma Fichtner, Muhlenberg College

SEA Semester Caribbean

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.

March 11, 2016

Cuba on the Cusp of Greater Participation in the Global Economy

Craig Marin, Professor of Maritime Studies

SEA Semester Caribbean

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.

March 08, 2016

Pulling Back the Curtain

Shane Bannon, Wesleyan University

SEA Semester Caribbean

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.

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