SEA Currents: s268
Setting Sails and Finding Hope
I have recently finished my first draft for my policy project after a lot of help from my policy class discussions. My project attempts to explore ways to redistribute an allocation of fishing rights back to Kiribati, so their resources and profits could be internalized. This differs from their current situation, lacking the infrastructure to cost effectively harvest the resource (mainly tuna) they sell the rights to fish in their EEZ to foreign vessels which often originate from the United States and Japan.
Another beautiful sunny day in PIPA! As we sail into August, we’re savoring the last days of our journey in this incredible place. With less than two weeks to go, everyone is working hard on projects and perfecting their terrible tans. In a little less than two days we will arrive at our last Phoenix Island, Nikumaroro. We are all excited to do some last minute snorkeling and explore our last stop; if it’s anything like Kanton and Orona we’re in for a treat!
Cheers to My Newfound Family
The blogs before this one have described, or at least tried to, the exquisite beauty of the many islands we have visited. I say “try to” because there are no words that can truly capture the essence of these magnificent places. In other words, you really have to be here to understand how magical the places really are. I want to take this time, however, to tell you about the amazing people onboard that I have come to call my family.
Somewhere Beyond the Sea
This is Peter signing on, its currently 0430 and B Watch is hard at work on deck and in lab. I have come far, from the disgruntled salty and sweaty mess wearing someone else’s pants that stumbled into lab many watches ago, to the man with the right pair of pants and sea legs ready for action. My fellow shipmates, JB, Panyu, and our amazing “alpha” scientist, Kelsey have just finished the to-do list of tonight’s watch from processing the nets full of zooplankton to investigating under the microscope for the 100 Counts, and are in the midst of a short midrats (midnight rations) break before some time to work on our research projects.
The Policy Component
Hi, folks! It’s time for something a little different today. This blog entry is brought to you not by a student, but by the grooviest marine policy teaching assistant this side of the equator. What’s marine policy, you say? And what is a policy TA doing aboard the Robert C. Seamans, a student sailing vessel better known for its salty watch officers, wizardly marine scientists, and a can-do crew of exceptional students? I’m glad you asked!
Musings of a Salty Sailor
Land Ho!..I hear shouted from above as I finish up the last set of breakfast dishes down below in the galley. I make my way onto the quarterdeck and inform my watch officer (Ryan) all the dishes have been completed. Ryan replies by asking if I could relieve the helmsman. A feeling of relief fills me, for I always find great pleasure when being on the helm, a combination of peacefulness and power within the grasp of my hands. With great excitement I grab hold of the spokes and begin to sail us into what we soon discovered to be a paradise.
Ahoy from Orona!
Have we arrived in paradise? I think we may have. We are anchored for the second day offshore of Orona – an island included in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area; a place visited by very few. Due to calm conditions we were able to be some of the few to go ashore. C-watch (my watch) experienced the island first yesterday morning. Climbing into one of the rescue boats, we motored through the crystal blue water to an approachable area of the island.
Haidee, here again! I realize that y’all have probably already heard enough from me, but here it goes, two blog posts in a row! As Hamilton blares from my laptop, I can see miles and miles of Orona, pristine with its white sandy shore and strip of vegetation running down the middle: my version of happiness. Earlier today, I had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go snorkeling on a dive mission: the first of many that we would have at Orona.
Mind over Matter: If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter
On a scale from a small rowboat in the middle of the ocean with a Beaufort force of 7 and a cruise ship smoothly sailing with civilization in sight, I fluctuate between a tugboat floating on a sea of mirrors and the Robert C. Seamans being rocked and inundated by the harsh wrath of Cthulhu (which happens to be my reality as of now). After overcoming the sea sickness that decided to sucker punch me in my stomach (literally) two days ago, my mind is in a relatively good place.
Setting Sail from Kanton
After what seemed like such a short time, our 3 days at Kanton had come to a close. I woke up before sunrise at 5am, for one of the last anchor watches. Shortly after breakfast, A watch took the deck to prepare the ship for departure. We removed the sail covers, and stowed the gear on deck. I was surprised how much had accumulated throughout the ship, as we quickly adjusted to the temporarily flat surfaces. We pulled the extra small boat out of the water from our makeshift dock, and stowed it on the roof.