SEA Currents: megafauna
November 02, 2017
The Happy Sad Times
Today was the first day we were able to set eyes on land after 10 days, and it was miraculous. Despite the incredible calculations and the spirit of B-watch, they were not the first to see New Zealand; Rather, it was C-watch, with Graeme giving the loudest “Land-Ho!!” he could as he was the first to see it.
It continued to be an exciting day as we got closer to land.
November 01, 2017
First day of shadow phase
Dear Family and Friends,
First of all, I would like to start by explaining how surreal this experience truly is. With seasickness long gone, we can now experience and understand the wonders of the sea. The ability to walk on deck at any hour of the day and see nothing but deep blue sea and perfectly clear horizon is an incredible unprecedented experience for me. With no light pollution for hundreds of miles, you are able to see everything from ships in the far distance to a perfect celestial sphere in the night sky.
October 27, 2017
Listening for Whales off Tonga
We have been deploying a hydrophone each morning during our science station to hopefully pick up on whale song along our cruise track. Humpback whales breed and calve in Tongan waters each year and we’ve seen them blow, breach, and flap around periodically.
One question we’ve faced while listening to the hydrophone is, what noises are generated from the boat and what sounds are actually from the whales?
Today, during our hydrophone, the science team was able to isolate vessel noises thanks to support from Ted and Mike, our engineers on board.
October 20, 2017
As the assistant engineer aboard the good ship Robert C. Seamans, you may not be surprised that I often frame the world around me in numbers. I tend to like things that are quantifiable and measurable. The ship around me is full of these numbers, and it’s our job in the engine department to track them, record them, make sense of them. We use these numbers to know when it’s time to perform critical maintenance - the starboard generator has run 168.9 hours since its last oil change, and will be due for another in 31.1.
October 10, 2017
We have once again lost sight of land and are somewhere sailing in the South Pacific ocean. The only thing that we can see are the clouds passing by with an occasional whale tail flopping out of the water during the day, and countless shooting stars at night. We are underway, heading south to our second destination in Tonga, Nuku’alofa where we will dock for a few days.
October 09, 2017
A Sailor’s Life For Me
Days passed on the trip..the crew began to worry that no whales would be found before the breading season came to a end. As we sailed through the many islands of Tonga, a crew member spotted the blowing of a whale dead ahead! All the crew gathered on deck to spot it, and all around the ship, near and far, whales we appearing. Every time one was spotted, I would point in its direction and yell, “THAR SHE BLOOOWWSS!!!!”
August 07, 2017
Extreme Whale Watch
We were woken up at the extremely early hour of 6:30 in the morning. We then quickly ate and did our chores and then headed onto the bus. We traveled for about an hour until we reached Plymouth MA: the home of Plymouth rock. However, we were not just there to see the rock in the ground, we were also there to be on a whale watch. We waited in line for what felt like forever and then aggressively boarded the boat to secure the “best” seats.
August 01, 2017
The morning began with a 7:30 wakeup and eggs. On the short bus ride to New Bedford, we listened to music and discussed our excitement for the day. Once arriving in New Bedford, we were immediately struck by the historic appearance of the town. After going over the day’s plans with Dan, we entered the Seaman’s Bethel. Inside the Bethel, we studied the cenotaphs, which are memorials for someone whose body was lost after their passing.
July 17, 2017
This morning we woke up bright and early to a breakfast of English muffins. At 7:30, we boarded the school bus and embarked on the hour long journey to Plymouth where we were scheduled to go whale watching.
The boat was large and crowded, but our hopes were high and we enjoyed looking out at the vast and open ocean. After an hour of sailing to our destination, we came to an abrupt stop where we saw several humpback whales. Humpback whales are between 35 and 55 feet long, so seeing these massive creatures ride in and out of the waves made our respect for the ocean and its ecosystems greater than it had been when we arrived in Woods Hole two weeks ago.
July 13, 2017
Noise Pollution and Getting Involved!
This morning for breakfast we had pancakes, bacon, and strawberries. After breakfast we had our watch meetings where we learned the sheet bend knot from the very talented and capable RAs.
By 8:30 we were in the Madden Center ready for our first class from guest speaker Dr. Heather Heenehan. She taught us about the work she has done to study marine mammals and noise pollution. It was pretty early, but she woke us up by doing a fun activity where we act as whales and try and find our pod. We were each given a device to make beeps and a pattern that matched up with other classmates and we had to find who had the same pattern. The high beep noises definitely woke us up!