Tuesday , June 6 2023

Gov. Johnson opens 18th Sea and Learn

The eighteenth edition of the annual Sea and Learn event kicked off at Eugenius Johnson Commu­nity Centre in Windwardside on Friday night, October 1. Governor Jonathan John­son, who is also the Saba representative of Prins Ber­nhard Culture Fund, the event’s main sponsor, officially opened the month­long event.

Speaker at the opening night was deep-sea explorer and scientist Edie Widder. She wowed the audience with her imagery and knowledge gained from her explorations of the ocean’s bottom.

Deep-sea explorer and scientist Edie Widder during Friday’s opening of the 2021 edition of Sea and Learn at Eugenius Johnson Centre in Windwardside, on Friday, October 1.

Widder is a pioneer who has also produced many tools that have allowed ob­servations of animals and behaviours never seen be­fore, including the first video of a giant squid filmed in its natural habitat. She has also spearheaded the de­velopment of water-quality monitoring systems and new methods of mapping pollu­tion.

Widder was invited on the giant squid expeditions for her expertise in biolumines­cence. Understanding how various deep water sea crea­tures use red, blue or white light to hunt or avoid preda­tion was key in this research.

Widder was at Saba Com­prehensive School earlier on Friday demonstrating differ­ent light forms to fourth and fifth form students.

The 14 experts invited to the Sea and Learn programme are conducting dynamic pre­sentations at local bars or restaurants every other eve­ning throughout October. Their schedule also includes hands-on field projects with visiting tourists, the elderly, local children and adults.

Sign-ups were taken to join Widder’s night snorkel excursion on the local dive operator’s boat Sea Saba, to observe ostracods in action. Only in Caribbean coastal waters without light pollu­tion can one witness these tomato-seed-size crustaceans as they emit a mucous-illuminated bead strung to­gether to signal to potential mates. Widder explained that Saba is one of few places on the planet to experience this phenomenon.

Subjects covered in this year’s Sea and Learn pro­gramme include pregnant tiger shark research, lobster migration, how to build your on remotely operated vehi­cle (ROV), what powers the supermassive black holes, urchin propagation, our re­gion’s volcano monitoring and much more.

Visit www.seaandlearn.org for more information and schedules of the various activities. Night­time presentations are live-streamed via Facebook and YouTube.

This year marks the 18th annual Sea and Learn event which was started in 2003. Only last year’s pandemic interrupted the programme from running consecutively. The event is also sponsored by the public entity Saba, all hotels, dive shops, most res­taurants and local artists.

The Daily Herald.

Sea & Learn: the 2021 Event