The Research Voyage Begins!

Author: Jan Witting, Chief Scientist

Students of S-301 about to board the Robert C. Seamans (in the distance between letter S and A) at USC’s Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies.

Ship's Log

On board Robert C. Seamans

At anchor off Two Harbors, Santa Catalina Island

Lat 33˚ 26.85”N by Lon 118˚ 29.62”W

Souls on Board

The training day is over, the Oceans and Climate class S-301 is sailing today! We boarded the ship yesterday after a lovely 10-day quarantine period on the premises of University of Southern California Wrigley station, where we wrapped up the last of our classwork and research project preparation.

All of us onboard feel very lucky and relieved to be heading out to the open ocean, being able to shed our masks after a successful communal effort in maintaining our COVID bubble for the past few weeks. Because of that sustained vigilance, there is already on this very first day a solid shared sense of us all as a ship’s company; a community of people with a shared purpose and a goal in mind.

Actually, there are many goals. One is to arrive safely and on time in Honolulu on December 23rd. Another is to execute the ambitious research plan we’ve put together for the cruise, a plan designed to examine the many ways our global ocean is interacting with the changing, warming climate of the planet. In the coming six weeks this blog will tell you about those discoveries, but also about the more personal reflections that living on a small ship in the middle of a big ocean often instills.

For now, everyone is still settling into this new floating world.  In the coming six weeks, you the readers, will have a front row seat as witnesses of the learning, the work, the trials, and the personal victories along this almost 4000-mile journey. I hope you’ll keep reading as we all onboard take turns to let you know how this voyage unfolds!

- Jan Witting, Chief Scientist

Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications, 508-444-1918 |

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