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Reflections from the Sea Dragon research ship

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The crew and research team on-board the 72ft

Sea Dragon expedition ship are currently undertaking two expeditions from the Island to find out more about the Sargasso Sea.

The

Sea Dragon is operated by Pangaea Explorations, and has sailed around 50,000 miles over the last two years as part of a series of research expeditions in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

During the missions the team are sending a daily blog, with photographs, explaining what they have been doing and what they have found.

Here is the most recent update from the

Sea Dragon.

Tuesday, May 28:

Most of us know some basic facts about our Island’s geography and ecology such as it was formed from a volcano, the landscape covered by endemic forests of cedar, olivewood and palmetto. I find as an educator aboard the Spirit of Bermuda that our students know much less about the biodiversity of its surrounding waters. We grow up recognising the stench of seaweed roasting on the shores. How many of us consider the life forms that exist in these clumps of Sargassum?

Before I joined as crew aboard

Spirit of Bermuda, this rarely crossed my mind. Now that the sea is closer than the land, my curiosity for really knowing our waters is renewed. And at the core of this is exploration of the Sargasso Sea. Today I returned from a three-day cruise aboard

Sea Dragon, along with local and international scientists, environmentalists and educators. Each person had a distinct reason for joining; each left with a purpose fulfilled.

On Wednesday May 22, 12 Bermuda students had the opportunity for a similar experience, and I know it has inspired them to find out more about ‘our’ sea. Whatever each of our formal education or informal interest: marine biology, environmental conservation, seafaring, education, history or public policy, as a resident here, it behoves us to explore our natural environment. As an educator at sea, this has become my personal duty. And as an avid traveller, what more could I want to boast of, being native to the only land mass in “the golden rainforest of the ocean”?

Researchers from around the world are incredibly keen on tapping into the mysteries of this rich body of water. Let us be responsive to the trend by remaining at the forefront. Knowing our waters is integral to knowing our roots. As proud nationals, we cannot afford to choose ignorance in this information age. Choose instead, to listen, observe and apply. Take advantage of the various opportunities to learn about the Sargasso Sea — its mysteries, its potential investments, its testament to the vast diversity of life.

(All pictures supplied by Ian MacDonald-Smith) One of each species is all we need: BAMZ aquarist Choy Aming bringing in a sea hare, sea pudding and urchin.
A team on board the Sea Dragon ship have been gathering samples of ocean water and creatures as part of a research programme examining the Sargasso Sea.
(All pictures supplied by Ian MacDonald-Smith) What shall we collect? Dr Wolfgang Sterrer (Bermuda Zoological Society) suggesting ways and means to Ocean Genome Legacy's Drs Dan Distel and Roberta O'Connor, and BAMZ' Steven Davis and Lisa Greene.
A team on board the Sea Dragon ship have been gathering samples of ocean water and creatures as part of a research programme examining the Sargasso Sea.
The laborious task of sorting, identifying and labelling all specimens.

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Published May 30, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated May 29, 2013 at 7:11 pm)

Reflections from the Sea Dragon research ship

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