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Voyages

SSV Corwith Cramer Blog

Position information is updated on a workday basis only.

Aug

02

C248d - Science at SEA II

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Friday, 02 August 2013
Position: 41° 21.4’N, 070° 46.9’W
Location: Menemsha Bight
Heading: At Anchor
Speed: 0 knots
Weather: Sunny with a few clouds and light breeze

Photo Caption: Watching the sunset on the roof of the lab, a nightly tradition

Hello from the A Watch of the Corwith Cramer! Today has been different from usual, filled with preparation and presentation of our scientific research projects. Bright and early, A watch was on Midwatch from 2300 to 0300. It was a drizzling, foggy night, and on top of that, we crossed a major traffic lane, leading to MUCH excitement. After some sleep, we had another project workshop to put the final changes on what we have learned over this amazing week. During the workshop, my group and I decided to practice on the foredeck because of the wonderful weather. While we were there, we began to notice the crystal blue waters fading to a deeper greenish color. We all know what that means…more turbidity, closer to shore! Soon after lunch, the first sight of land was made: “LAND HO!” Everyone rushed to the bowsprit to get a glimpse of Martha’s Vineyard, where we would soon be docking, prior to heading home. Finishing this adventure is going to be bittersweet. A few hours after spotting land, all hands were called to the deck to help strike the sails and set the anchor. To finish the day, each group presented their research findings. It was amazing to see how much we all have learned in only a week on this ship. Now onto what is sure to be a spectacular dinner, followed by chilling on top of the lab. Seemingly well-deserved after all of the hard work we have put in today. Everyone back home, we will talk to you soon!

Katie Taylor

Aug

02

C248d - Science at SEA II

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Friday, 02 August 2013
Position: 39° 59’ N x 70° 59’ W
Heading: 010° PSC
Speed: 3 knots
Weather: Cloudy with thunderstorms astern
Location: Outer shelf

Photo Caption: B Watch rockin’ it out on the bow sprit

Hey from B Watch! After a long day of watching bottle nose dolphins leaping through the water, large majestic whales, and schools of flapjack tuna fish, we sat down to a delicious meal of homemade pizza. I guess you could say we’re having a pretty spectacular time here on the Cramer. We started our day around 11:00am, after a long, deep “sleep of kings”. After brushing out our bed hair on deck, we had a particularly hilarious watch meeting during which we played a fun game of “Wah” (yeah, it’s about as intelligent as it sounds) and then determined our winners with a “Veggie Off” championship- congrats to Alec and Emma for being the best cauliflower impersonators. And shout out to thrift-shop Thursdays! We broke out our thriftiest gear and rocked it all day on deck. We also had a super fail of the line exam, coming in last place of the three watches, but finished with a strong conga line. To end this superb blog, I’ll leave you all with the famous lyrics of Thrift Shop by Macklemore. “I’m gonna pop some sails, only got twenty deck hands in my mid watch! I’m I’m I’m lokkin’ looking for a wind speed, OH HEY There’s a dolphin!”

-Summer Graham, Emma C., Julia B.

Aug

01

C248d - Science at SEA II

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Thursday, 01 August 2013
Position: 39° 36’ N x -70° 46’ W
Heading: 320° PSC
Speed: 1 knot
Weather: Cloudy with thunderstorms astern
Location: Outer continental shelf

Photo caption: Madison processes nutrient samples

In the midst of our dawn watch (0300-700), Andrea and I (Owen) have taken a break from our time at sea in order to enlighten you of our experience. Since our time over the continental shelf, winds have shifted greatly and now low, from NNE at a steady 6 knots. All four lower sails are set and we plough on in the early hours of the morning outrunning a squall at a steady 1 knot. Shortly after writing this blog, we will set the topsail in hopes of picking up speed. During the day, the weather was hot and clear due to a high-pressure system moving into the area. Currently Jared is at the helm and the lab is working hard to process data from our third Super Station that occurred yesterday morning. At the Super Station, we deployed the carousel, sediment grab, and Styrofoam cups! We decorated the cups and then lowered them to 900 meters, shrinking them to a fourth of their original size. Research and sampling is for the most part complete and we begin the phase of understanding and interpreting our data to make presentations for the entire crew. Today in classes, we experimented with the color change of the ocean. We used M&Ms to demonstrate the absorption of certain colors in the color spectrum as depth increases. Because certain colors have shorter wavelengths, they do not have the energy to go down as far as colors of light with greater wavelengths (i.e. blue). This is the reason for greener waters in shallow areas and bluer waters in deeper areas. In nautical science, we worked on splicing rope and making our own Turkshead bracelets (although most of us were unsuccessful).

Shipboard life is a lot different from what we are all used to. Besides the fact of having to wake up at strange hours (0300), there are a lot more responsibilities here than most of us have ever had to take on. We steer the ship at the helm, lookout at the bow, and set, strike, and furl sails from dawn until dusk. Commonplace chores are not forgotten, but commonplace habits (i.e. showering) are sorely missed. Our short time at sea has thus far been the experience of a lifetime, and is sure to be filled with many more adventures to come.

- Andrea Wright and Owen Storms

Jul

30

C248d - Science at SEA II

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Tuesday, 30 July 2013, 1730 hours
Current Position: 39°49.8’N x 71°07.5’W

Photo Caption: Emma and Julia rocking out on their guitars and ukulele

Approaching the deck after dish duty in the galley, one of my favorite chores, I could hear the sound of, ahem, beautiful strumming and singing. Sitting up on deck in the slowly waning sun was Julia on the guitar and Alec and Emma on the ukulele with Summer and Lily standing at the rail.  Although they didn’’t know any of the same songs, or in some cases any songs, they were certainly enjoying themselves.  The rest of A watch was as well, watching them goof around and enjoy their off time.  It’s these little moments that make this trip unforgettable.  The sounds of music mixing with the crashing of the waves turn out to be the small moments that are the big strengtheners of our bonds as classmates, friends, and now shipmates.  When looking back on this adventure I know that it is the little memories that I will cherish the most, sitting on top of the science lab watching the carrousel be deployed, Gary in his ‘oilskin’ hat giving us the outline of the murder mystery of the tile fish in the 1800’s, and washing our bed sheets with Febreeze.  I treasure every moment of seasickness (sorry Mom and Dad, guess it is in our genes after all), every laugh at meals, and every smile shared and we learn and grow together. 

-Madison Maier

Jul

29

C248d - Science at SEA II

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Monday, July 29, 2013, 2000 hrs.
Current Position: 41° 05.8’N x 071° 17.5’W

Photo caption: Sunset off the starboard bow.

Good day from SS/V Corwith Cramer!
Today, we made headway out towards the Atlantic averaging a steady 2 knots under sail, no cheating engines here. Calm waters with the occasional roller, slightly covered skies clearing up as dusk approaches, light breeze originating from southwest by south, and even a few whale spotting’s off the starboard beam.

A focus was made, during class time, on sail handling, spiking, and setting. All sailors well, unlike last night’s festivities on the leeward deck (seasickness). Our first Super Station was held by A watch who deployed the carrousel as well as the neuston net. There is plankton galore! Today was also the first day where we gave presentations on navigations, weather, engineering, and science. There is so much to learn about the ocean, and we are up at all strange hours to observe, learn, and conduct research.

At watch turnover around 1900, watches B and C performed a speedy gybe to avoid the course of a 1000ft tanker, it wasn’t even close. Those sails don’t trim themselves you know. Course ordered by Captain as of 2017: 1-8-0.

Signing off, until tomorrow.
Liam O’Leary

Jul

29

C248d - Science at SEA II

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Monday 29 July 2013, 0500 hrs.

Location: South of Martha’s Vineyard

Photo caption: Safety gear aboard Corwith Cramer

The students of SAS II arrived on Saturday, July 27th and immediately got down to the business of becoming crew members aboard the Corwith Cramer. After departing Dyer’s Dock Saturday afternoon, we made our way to the far end of Martha’s Vineyard to anchor off Menemsha Harbor.  We remained at anchor for the better part of 24 hours, getting oriented to the ship’s galley, laboratory, and engine room and becoming familiar with the Watch Quarter and Station Bill-a document that carries each person’s name, position and assigned tasks. The Corwith Cramer is a Sailing School Vessel, not a passenger ship, and as such every student who signs aboard is swiftly vested with real responsibility for the daily operations of the ship and is assigned duties to be executed during emergency drills. As one might imagine, there’s a lot to learn to prepare for a voyage offshore.  Having spent the previous week and half on campus in Woods Hole, this class joined the ship with a solid academic understanding of many aspect of life aboard and over the last 40 hours has begun to put the practical pieces in places.

After our long first evening, and even longer morning of shipboard orientation, the ship’s company enjoyed a brief swim from the deck of the Cramer before we got underway after lunch on Sunday.  A light but fair sailing breeze allowed us to gybe our way out of Vineyard Sound through the afternoon watch.  By evening time the breeze had diminished and so, in order to make good progress toward our first science station, we engaged the main engine for a few hours of steaming south. By mid-watch a light breeze had returned with a clear, starry sky.  We spent Sunday night underway, with each watch group taking a four-hour turn at guiding the ship toward Monday morning’s station.  We’ll arrive on station in just a few hours with a happy, healthy and increasingly competent crew manning the ship around the clock.  While B watch sleeps late into the morning after their 2300-0300 mid-watch, C watch will head to bed after their 0300-0700 dawn watch and A watch will return to the deck and lab from 0700-1300 to begin our oceanographic sampling in earnest.  Follow this blog for more from SAS II in the coming days.

For now, fair winds.

Virginia Land McGuire, Master SS/V Corwith Cramer

Jul

25

C248d - Science at SEA II

Thursday 25 July 2013

The students of C-248d, Science at SEA II, are scheduled to depart Woods Hole aboard the Corwith Cramer on Saturday. They will finish their voyage in Woods Hole around Sunday August 4th.