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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: s268


July 23, 2016

Setting Sail from Kanton

Kevin Freymiller, A watch, Reed College

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

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.

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July 22, 2016

Taking a Breath in Kanton

Jennah McDonald, American University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Today was our final full day in beautiful Kanton. After an entire day exploring the island and last night’s spectacle of food, song, and dance, that we shared with the residents of Kanton, I was left with sore muscles (and vocal cords), burnt skin, mangled toes, and a full heart. After so much activity, most of the Robert C. Seamans crew needed some R&R. When we were told we would be spending half of the day today exploring another part of the island, I was excited but not sure I was up for the task.

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July 21, 2016

Experiencing Kanton

Jinxue Chen, St. John's College

I found it most unexpected in my life on the sea is how people get affected by their surrounding environment. From the perspective of my personal experience, we are deprived from internet and news currently. I hardly read anything every day. But I got used to this new life immediately. The thing I contemplate the most nowadays are food, seawater, zooplankton. Aristotle, Descartes from St. John’s College seem to be so far away from me. From a cultural perspective, I realize how such tropical sea is absent in most cultures. Every time when I see moon hanging aloft in the sky, shedding silver lights all over the sea, I recall some Chinese poetries depicting moon and Yangze River, the swimming prisoner from Mount Cristo, several stops on the journey of Odessey, the young man from Kafka on the Shore.

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July 20, 2016

Kanton, past and present.

William S. Feeney, Macalester College

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Yesterday morning the Robert C. Seamans arrived in Kanton, motoring into its massive lagoon early in the afternoon. Today we awoke at 06:00 anchored in the lagoon, with a spectacular view of the strong tidal current, and a shore showing the signs of decades of military use: massive fuel tanks, the outlines of bunkers, and the remains of a WWII era shipwreck. Today we split into two groups, one going ashore to explore at 7:30, and another staying onboard the ship to stand watches and snorkel the coral gardens of the lagoon and the barrier reef outside.

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July 19, 2016

Kanton!

Corinna Anderson, B watch, Lafayette College

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Hello everyone back home, it’s Corinna here, reporting on what your loved ones have been up to for the past 24 hours. Starting at 0100, B watch was in charge when we spotted our first glimpses of Kanton in the dark. It took us a while to see it because of how low-lying it is, but we finally managed to see it just before day break. As per usual at the end of our watch, we were pretty hungry.

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July 18, 2016

Land Ho!!

Perry Drucker, A Watch, University of Rhode Island

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

After two weeks of sailing on the open ocean, at 0700 we have finally spotted our first sign of land. It’s good to know that land still exists as we are all getting a bit anxious from being on a boat for this long without seeing land. Enderbury Island is an uninhabited Island on the eastern border of the Phoenix Islands. Although we didn’t actually make a stop at the island, we did have a deployment of the hydrocast, neuston net and tucker trawl to collect water samples and small ocean critters.

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July 17, 2016

Cannot Feel Much Stronger

Panyu Peng, University of Texas

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

This is Panyu logging in here. After being physically “tortured” by Super Station Deployment (all three nets deployed Neuston Tow, Tuckertroll Deep and Shallow, and yet another Hydrocast), a hectic hour-long lab practical exam, a totally out-of-expectation fire drill on boat, getting stranded and soaked in a sudden squall while on watch, and finally finishing up the first policy draft for the Conservation and Management class, I am now EXHAUSTINGLY HAPPY and CANNOT FEEL MUCH STRONGER!

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July 16, 2016

Thoughts from the Bowspirit

Alexandra Bonecutter, C Watch, Stony Brook University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Two weeks since the forty souls on board this ship have laid eyes on land; not long now until we arrive upon the shores of the island of Kanton.

Indeed, last night we entered the Phoenix Islands Protected Area soon after crossing the equator, leaving behind the oceanic desert of the mid-Pacific and nearing an “Underwater Eden…”

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topic: s268 • (3) CommentsPermalink

July 15, 2016

Pollywogs Be Gone!

John "JB" Pitts, B Watch, Stetson University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Beings of the interweb, we now bring you this urgent message:

WE’VE CROSSED THE EQUATOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The latitude on our GPS hit all zeroes as Polaris slunk below our horizon this morning at approximately 0445. Once Neptune awoke in the afternoon, we were put on trial for our misgivings. We were all found guilty, but after a few tests and tributes we were honorably given Shellback status.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topic: s268 • (3) CommentsPermalink

July 14, 2016

Awaiting Neptune’s Judgment

Ruthann Monsees, C Watch, Stony Brook University

SEA Semester

Yes, blue skies are great, but nothing beats a star filled sky with an unobstructed horizon. This is one of the many joys of Dawn Watch. C Watch, in particular, has been large and in charge during many exciting early mornings on the Robert C. Seamans. We stood the first dawn watch, traversed the ITCZ during dawn watch, and last night launched an ARGO float before the sunrise.

ARGO floats are an economic way to gain information about temperature, salinity, and depth in all over the world’s oceans. Ours was deployed at 2˚N to be swept up in the equatorial waters. During the day we all signed it and then at 0500, we unceremoniously chucked it off the port side. It will float and sink for the next 2-3 years, collecting data, until it finds a final resting stop on the bottom of the ocean or is washed ashore. For anybody out there interested in tracking our ARGO float, you can Google it along with its serial number FO5503.

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