SEA Currents: port stops
October 15, 2019
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.
October 14, 2019
Roots in Earth and Water
Emerging from the doghouse, I was greeted by a cool morning breeze that brushed from the port side of the deck. Having just completed the 0600 boat check, I found that the sunrise had begun while I was below deck. Moving to the rail, I fell into conversation with my 0500-0630 dock watch buddy Zuri, when I noticed a spot of white foam in the distance.
October 14, 2019
A Sea of Islands
Under the moonlight of Friday, October 11, 2019, I eagerly trekked across Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai (HTHH) with a team from Sea Education Association (SEA) and NASA to complete one final mission: to measure temperatures around the perimeter of the volcano’s crater lake.
October 13, 2019
SEA / NASA Joint Collaboration of Exploration
Since the formation of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai in 2015, NASA has been keenly interested in this landmass as a rare opportunity to examine pathways of land formation and erosion in the time of 21st century remote sensing and scientific technology.
October 08, 2018
Flowers and Bombs
After a day of anchoring near Mala island, and a day of motor-sailing around the Tongan sea, we arrived at Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai. This is the world’s newest island, formed by volcanic eruptions from within the ocean. Scientists thought that the volcanic matter was not going to stay out of the water, but it did, and that’s how the island was created!
October 05, 2018
Crown of Thorns Starfish, Here we come!
Early morning here on the Robert C Seamans with a full morning of activities ahead of us. ‘A-Watch’ started early swabbing the deck (regardless of the fact it was pouring rain) and morning chores were in full swing. This morning we mustered on the quarter deck to gather snorkeling equipment and flippers.
October 04, 2018
Pow-wow in Vava’u
We started off our first full day at port in Neiafu with a splendid breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, English muffins, and hot sauce. Afterwards, our class mustered on the quarterdeck to apply sunscreen and a heavy shield of Deet before we walked down the street to attend a educational presentation by the Vava’u Environmental Protection Association (VEPA).
October 03, 2018
Arriving in Tonga
Late on Tuesday night, B watch (my very own watch, winners of the previous day’s line chase competition) made an exciting sighting: land! After five days at sea, we finally spotted our first destination: Vava’u, Tonga. I had served as assistant steward the day before and had abbreviated night watch because of it, meaning that I was sound asleep for the call of “Land ho!” but awoke the next morning to the sight of Tonga.
July 24, 2018
The People of Kanton
The people of Kanton are unlike any I’ve met. I know Nate talked about the reception they held for us, but there cannot be enough said about that evening. Their musical performances were as humbling as they were spectacular. While the women and children sang the words of a language we do not know, the men harmonized perfectly as they beat a large, shared drum to the slow rhythm of their chanting.
July 23, 2018
Welcome to Kanton
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.