Activities Galore!

April 9, 2023

 Amelia Koval, A Watch, University of Vermont


Nora (deckhand), Ana (student), and Jack (student) enjoy a seizing rotation with Beanz and Danny (mates in training). Below: Sailing GENE! From left to right: Cate (student), me, Rachel (steward), Beanz (mate in training).

Ship's Log

Noon Position
14°58.14’S, 147°38.53’W

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
Cool winds, force 3; sustained rain in afternoon squall; same sail plan as yesterday

Description of location
Anchored inside Rangiroa Atoll

Souls on Board

All blogs from S-308

Hi everyone!

It’s Amelia (A watch) reporting live from Bobby C. While we have been anchored just inside Rangiora, I have enjoyed a plethora of fun, informative activities. One of my favorite activities was sailing GENE, our small wooden dory. This was a special experience for me because GENE is very similar to my dad’s boat that I have grown up sailing. During the sail I was reminiscing about all the fun-filled afternoons that I have spent with my dad sailing on lakes and ponds throughout New England.

Another highlight was snorkeling on the reef close to our anchorage. Rachel, our lovely steward, pointed out a blacktip reef shark. I was so stoked to spot a shark in the wild for the first time! I am still amazed at the diversity of life that we observed in two short hours. I’m determined to improve my marine fish ID skills. The range of colors, textures, and morphologies is truly amazing.

While at anchor we have been enjoying at least one swim call a day. The afternoon swim calls have been crucial for feeling clean for maybe two hours – it only takes one boat check to once again be lathered in sweat. Yesterday I took a dip right after chores. It’s amazing how 5 minutes in the ocean can completely rejuvenate your body and soul. Everyone in the water enjoyed the waves even if a few mouthfuls of salt water were consumed.

In addition to all the activities on the water, we have also been completing deck rotations. These rotations have exposed me to skills such as seizing, splicing, and new knots. Learning traditional nautical skills has been fantastic. My favorite quote from these rotations was when Danny (mate in training) stated: “sailors’ lives are held together by string.” This statement may or may not have sent my group into a minor existential crisis.

We also rotated through science stations. I finally understand the gist of spectrophotometry. This will be crucial in determining the pH of each water sample we collect along our cruise track. We also learned how to deploy a Secchi disk and even painted some colorful reef fish.

In about 15 minutes, I’m going to join my watch for a meeting at 1130 before we take the deck at 1300. This will allow us to communicate about how things are going and make a plan for our watch. The perk of afternoon watch is I get to sleep for the whole night before taking the deck tomorrow at 0700.

What a treat!

I just want to take a minute to say hello to my lovely mother. Just so you know I’m thoroughly enjoying the food and am doing my best to consistently apply sunscreen. Your cardamom bread made it through customs and was enjoyed by many on the boat. Also hello to my twin sister Hannah! I miss you so much and am sending some sunshine back to Vermont.

Amelia Koval, A Watch, University of Vermont

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  1. Hannah Koval April 10, 2023 at 14:26 - Reply

    So happy to hear all about your adventures. Couldn’t be prouder. Love and miss you! – Hannah

  2. Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory April 13, 2023 at 08:50 - Reply

    Hi from UVM! We have been following all of your adventures and are so happy for you!

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