SEA Currents: research
If someone was to ask me, “What’s it like sailing on the open ocean?” I would respond with: Imagine you’re in a snow globe, with nothing but the ship, the people on the ship, and the current environment - disconnected from the outer world and in tune with your direct surroundings.
Trans-Pacific Swimmer to Collect Samples for SEA
In 1998, Ben Lecomte swam across the Atlantic Ocean. Now he’s taking on the Pacific.
The long-distance swimmer began June 5, in Tokyo, and hopes to reach San Francisco in about six months. That’s a distance of approximately 5,500 miles. The goal, says Lecomte, is to conduct research and raise awareness about climate change and ocean pollution.
Deep Water and Dolphin Spotting
We left Bermuda only two days ago but time is flying by now that we are back in the Sargasso Sea. We start our third and final phase today: Junior Officer. JWO (Junior Watch Officer) and JLO (Junior Lab Officer) mean that one student or sailing intern are in charge of the procedures during the watch and they basically act as the current mate. My first chance is tonight during dawn watch where I’ll be in charge of the lab during B watch’s first meter tow.
New Collaboration on Marine Debris
In partnership with the University of Georgia, SEA was awarded a grant from 11th Hour Project. Working with the University of Georgia, SEA will support curriculum and in-port research activities around waste management and ocean plastic pollution in the next Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems (SPICE) program.
Bucket List Before Bermuda
Just like anything else in the world, you can get in the rhythm of life at sea. Today we had our second “field day” where we scrub the ship from top to bottom for two full hours. It’s the only time of the week when we can listen to music and it’s nice to have five different speakers placed around the boat playing tunes as we scrub the main saloon with Envirox. It is truly fascinating how much dirt and loose hair 31 people can create in one week.
O-fish-ially deep into the Sargasso Sea
As our second week comes to a close, I already feel like our community aboard Mama Cramer is gelling. You can get used to almost anything: flushing the head (aka toilet) with a hand pump, showering about once every three days, and eating on gimbled tables that continuously tilt to counteract the ship’s rocking.
Waking up for morning watch today, there was no question that we have experienced a change in our horizons here on the Robert C Seamans.
I, and I am sure a majority of my fellow students, were tired from the day before as we worked furiously to finalize the research projects into which we have put so much time over the past 10 weeks.
A week at sea & the Great Pin Rail Chase!
A week ago, at 12:13 EDT, we cast off our last line in Nassau, Bahamas and motored out to sea. It’s hard to believe we have officially been underway for a week! The days are flying by and just seem to blend together. With the revolving 6 on, 12 off watch schedule we are constantly changing our work and sleep schedule which really makes it hard to keep track of the time.
Update on Current Elsaesser Fellowship Research
SEA Semester alumnus Michael Jacobson (W-72), the recipient of the 2018 Armin E. Elsaesser III Fellowship award, is currently in southern Taiwan documenting the indigenous Tao people’s traditional boat building and fishing culture. He recently sent us his second update on his activities.
Update: I have left Lanyu and have been in the southern part of Taiwan. I learned so much about the current boat culture on Lanyu and how the tatala still retains a singular status for individuals and families. I was able to participate in four fishing summoning ceremonies, two tatala launching ceremonies, and even went out fishing for flying fish one night using lights to attract them.
It was a bright and beautiful day in paradise today! Off in the distance, the island of Culebra was appearing in the distance through fog. If the plan works accordingly, Culebra is our snorkeling stop for a bit of fun exploring in the Caribbean waters…fingers crossed!