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SEA Currents: s274


August 02, 2017

Believe in the Unbelievable

Adrielle Cailipan, San Francisco State University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

When I applied for this program, I knew I’d signed up for doing research on a sailboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. I never would have believed, however, that I would be moored to a shipwreck off a deserted island (rumored to be the island Amelia Earhart crash landed on, no less) talking to my friend, Nic, about how to do statistical regressions on my ocean productivity data while reef sharks and tropical fish splashed and prowled in the waters 5 feet below us…

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August 01, 2017

Nikumaroru Atoll

Claire Bradham, B Watch, Kenyon College

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

My day started at 00:30, when I woke up to Veronica whispering my name. Twenty minutes later, I was standing on the deck in the moonlight ready for dawn watch. On the northern horizon, we could barely see the dark stripe that was the island of Nikumaroro. There is a particular spot by the island where we wanted to do our scientific sampling, but we planned to approach it during the day. So we had a pretty unusual watch, in that we were hove to (stopped) all night, drifting slowly with the wind.

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July 31, 2017

Space

Isaac Carroo, B Watch, Rice University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Watching my conceptions of space change as I have spent the past three and a half weeks onboard the Robert C. Seamans has been interesting to say the least. In the beginning, I felt that my world would inevitably shrink down to a mere fraction of what it used to be, in many ways. There is the obvious physical constraint of having only 140 feet of space to walk up and down on any given day, but there was also the fact that my spheres of interaction were minimized to the 37 others on board with me and, for a few days, the people of Kanton.

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July 30, 2017

Birthday at Sea

Janet Bering, 2nd Assistant Scientist

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Just now, I went around and asked the staff if they had one sentence to share with the outside world.

Here is what they had to say to you, the dearest outside world:

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July 29, 2017

Reflections on PIPA

Nic Rummel, C Watch, Colorado School of Mines

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Hello all ye land lovers. Things are going well for us out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. We have had a good last few days with our fair share of scientific deployments and sail handling. It has been a particular pleasure of mine to finally participate in the full work load. At first, I had an unfortunately severe amount of complications from sea sickness. guess that is what a mountain man gets for trying to be a sailor.

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July 28, 2017

Lessons from Night Watch

Kate Benson, A Watch, Stetson University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

After a particularly damp and dreary night watch, I thought I’d spend a few minutes sharing my newly acquired nuggets of wisdom on…

Life Lessons Learned on Night Watch: Tips and Tricks for Surviving 7pm to 1am

- Memorize the lines before dark – Knowing which ropes to haul or ease is imperative for smooth sailing. If you don’t know which line is which when you can see them, imagine how much harder it is when you can’t. Memorize your lines before the sun goes down.

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July 27, 2017

Orona’s Lagoon

Jessima Ranney, C-Watch, University of Maine

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

When our story left off we were anchored in Orona, one of the numerous (relatively) untouched island atoll oases comprising the Phoenix Islands. Today we are back underway, sailing under the four lowers towards our next terrestrial target, Winslow Reef. While I’m feeling slightly woozy from seasickness induced from being back underway, I will attempt do justice in recalling the beauty and wonder of snorkeling with the giant clams in Orona’s lagoon…

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July 26, 2017

Holding my Breath

Barbara Ann Heerken, B Watch, Northern Arizona University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

I’m holding my breath, because I have been asked to find the green orb and place it on the horizon. I’m holding my breath, because I’m navigating through an endless-blue-nowhere by the light of the star that is mine, because I picked it; I know its name, and it’s the only one I can see out of the black waves stretching a thousand miles in every direction and the black sky stretching millions of miles in front of me.

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July 25, 2017

Bucket Lists

Hailey Simpson, A Watch, University of Rhode Island

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

I don’t think there is an adequate way to write a blog that encompasses all of the events and emotions that have happened over the past few weeks. The SSV Robert C. Seamans doesn’t take her company through the middle of the Pacific Ocean without some testy moments and times of utter confusion. Coming from someone who has only sailed a small Sunfish boat and almost crashed it into a jet ski (hehe love you, Hannah), I never thought that in only two weeks I would be able to understand and sail a 134.5 foot brigantine vessel which is comprised of 86 lines; all the while living with 38 shipmates whom I’ve mostly just met.

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July 24, 2017

What’s in a Name?

Veronica Ellis, A Watch, UC Berkeley

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

I want to begin this blog entry by wishing belated but nevertheless enthusiastic HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes to my mother (I love you and miss you very much) and my dear friend Julia (omg hi).

Now the real stuff.

We talk a lot about the idea of sense of place here on the Robert C. Seamans, in Conservation and Management class, as well as in Oceans and Global Change class. I hadn’t really thought about this concept before coming to SEA, but it’s become more prevalent in my mind as this trip goes on, and as I think about life when I’ve gotten back to the “real world”.

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