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Voyages

SSV Corwith Cramer Blog

Position information is updated on a workday basis only.

Nov

19

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

Tuesday November 19, 2013
Dockside, Gallows Bay Marine, Christiansted, St. Croix
Weather- Sunny and beautiful, clear skies

Having arrived safely in St. Croix the moment has come to bid farewell to the class of C249. A wonderful group of shipmates to sail, laugh and explore with. I hope to cross paths with you all again some day.
Fair winds,
Colleen
Captain

Nov

18

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Monday 18 November 2013
Location: Anchored in Francis Bay, St. John
Weather: Sunny and Beautiful

Photo Caption 1: We’ll all miss her in some way, I know I will..
Photo Caption 2: ..Almost as much as I’ll miss my watch mates

Well here it is, at long last, our last full day aboard the Corwith Cramer. Such a journey it has been, with rolling seas and stormy nights, and beautiful scenery with amazing swim calls. Today we spent prepping the ship we have called home for the next group of students who will be beginning their adventure in St. Croix, just as we did a few short weeks ago in Woods Hole.

Today we hit the ground running at 0800, packing our things, cleaning our bunks, and getting all the funk out (I found a clean pair of sheets hidden away! I wish I had known about those!). After a brief break, we began what we like to call field day. It is normally on Saturdays, but this one was to be extra thorough. We scrubbed high and low, the overheads to the soles, until the ship was spotless. Grimy and sweaty, we looked at the clock, and it wasn’t even noon!

After lunch, we get to wash the deck. Rumor has it, we’ll even get a swim call as a reward for all the work today! This evening we get a good ol’ swizzle, a last chance to all hang out before setting sail to St. Croix tonight.

There is a very odd combination, at least for me, of excitement to go home, and a sadness to leave this “new norm” of ship life that I have grown to love. I definitely hope to return to sailing some day!

Patrick Mooney
University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

Nov

17

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Sunday 17 November 2013
Location: Anchored in Francis Bay, St. John
Speed: 0 Knots
Weather: Sunny and very hot!

Photo Caption 1: Onion Jousting!
Photo Caption 2: Sunset over the Virgin Islands

Well, where to start. It’s been quite a long day, very busy but also very fun. To put things into context for those of you at home, I am currently sitting in front of the computer with the sunset shining in through the port light in the lab and my face painted like a cat. You probably read that sentence and thought oh that must be nice and what??? Let me explain.

Yesterday was our last full day of underway sailing. With projects handed in and the academic component of the program complete everyone was free to enjoy a beautiful sail towards the Virgin Islands. Slowly through the night, the dark and glittering spots of land on the horizon got closer and closer. Around sunrise o’clock we made our way through Round Rock passage and Sir Francis Drake channel. This morning’s route provided some beautiful views of the islands. After being surrounded by so much blue for so long, it is almost overwhelming to now be surrounded by so much green. The green of the vegetation against the turquoise water and cinnamon sugar colored beaches sets quite a scene. No surprise that this is a boater’s paradise.

After clearing customs, we settled in our anchorage in Francis Bay; A quiet spot with a few small sailboats and two very pleasant-looking beaches. This afternoon, the deck of the ship was turned into a carnival, with staff and students running games like onion jousting, mini golf (hitting a lime with a broom into a PVC pipe), a Frisbee toss into a meter net and a “monkey in the hole” game which involved tossing a heaving line into a life ring. There was also a face painting station, which turned into a make shift temporary tattoo parlor and a concession stand with delicious home-made pretzels, lemonade and iced tea. After a journey of over 2000 miles everyone enjoyed a well-deserved, fun filled afternoon of no stress nonsense.

As the afternoon winds down and the sun sets, people mill about the boat enjoying the view and the last few days here on the ship that they have called home for the past six weeks. In between the sounds of dishes in the galley you can hear people laughing intermixed with an occasional strum of a ukulele or fiddle.

I think it’s about that time that I pull myself away from the computer and go out and enjoy the scenery and the weather. Soon enough I’ll be back to colder weather in Massachusetts.I heard it already snowed there!! Yikes!

Hope you all have enjoyed the blog as much as we have enjoyed ourselves here!

Laura Hansen
Assistant Scientist

Nov

16

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Saturday 16 November 2013
Noon position: 18° 28.6’’N x 063° 36.9’’W
Sailing under main, main stays’l, course, tops’l & raffee

Photo 1: Daniel & I aloft with impressive rollers pitching the world under us.
Photo 2: AB Sarah, with a full stack of squar’s’ls drawing us towards the Virgin Islands!


One of the last few days underway here aboard our brave vessel, we sailed through the night away from St. Bart’s to get some deep water for our last CTD deployment. Today was a very special day, with projects & presentations completed, the staff has taken over the galley, giving our steward a much deserved day off, and impressive and varied arrays of food have come pouring out to the delight of all hands. Special events of today included white board karaoke put on by Hewson, where shipmates (and chief scientists) improvised presentations that others had prepared for them. Hilarity rocked the ship as much as the 13 ft swells this afternoon.

The large rollers and light air made for an impressive heel today for a climb aloft for Daniel and I, who got front row seats to see A-watch set the topmost sail, the raffee!

We also had a throwback neuston tow this morning; with us C-watchers pulling in Sargassum fragments that made us nostalgic for the wide sea we left behind weeks ago. We have one of our last watches tonight, but if last night’s sky is any indication, we should be able to get a midnight star fix, with a bright moon illuminating the horizon (vital for sextant work), but not dulling the navigational stars. Also, if last night is any indication, it should be a fun & hilarious watch for the C-monsters.

The days are winding down, but smiles pervade all levels of our ship, and all hands are enjoying their newfound freedom far too much to let the end get them down. The fantastic food throughout today hasn’’t hurt either, and as a wise captain once said, the best way to prevent a mutiny was double the rum & rations.

Farley Miller
AB

Nov

15

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Friday 15 November 2013
Noon position: 15° 55.3’’N x 062°52.2’’W
Heading: 268°
Speed: 4 knots
Weather: Winds E F 2-3; Seas E 2-3 ft, 31° C

Photo 1: Will and Zoe give a great presentation on myctophids
Photo 2: Another fun underwater picture, this time of Marc, Keven, and Farley, cause who doesn’’t love a good underwater picture?

Today we set anchor in St. Bart’s, so we could have some calm conditions and everyone at attention for the final project presentations. I was the JWO this morning, and had a great team of A watchers- and anyone else pressed into service while milling about deck- behind me to get us onto anchor. We picked a lovely spot, surrounded by green mountains, blue seas, and luxury yachts. Lookout soon turned into “lookout for the turtle” because we attracted a large green friend, who kept poking his head out of the water to say hi. Every five minutes or so someone would yell out, “turtle!!” and the rest of us would run over and take pictures. Of course, before long the questions started about how many people one turtle could feed, and what would be good side dishes to go with it. Thankfully Lina then brought up a delicious morning snack of apple cake, so the jokes of turtle hunting turned into the silence of some good food.

The rest of the groups presented their research in two sessions, and it was awesome to see the outcome of everyone’s hard work. We learned about mesoplastic from Hewson, Halobates from Lina and Hope, myctophids from Will and Zoe, oxygen supersaturation from Nick, Trichodesmium from Marc and Keven, Pteropods from Jamie and Patrick, and leptocephali from Serena and Miles. Once we turn in our final papers by midnight tonight we will all breathe a huge sigh of relief. Without projects hanging over our heads, we’ll have the next couple days to enjoy some FREE TIME on the ship, which before was almost unheard of. I’’ve already decided to work on some Turks head knots when I’m off watch, so I can be sure to spend my last days on the ship doing truly sailor activities. After presentations we enjoyed some cupcakes for Ryan’s birthday, and then had a long (15 minutes!) swim call. Some people dove down to see the barracudas under the ship, while others just shampooed, or jumped off the head rig.

Pretty much an awesome day here on the Cramer, and now as the familiar atmosphere that comes after big deadline sets in, we’’re all just as excited for the next few days as we are sad to see them go.

Fair winds,
Emily Bishop
University of Rhode Island ‘15

Shout outs: Dad I hope you had a great birthday, wish I could have been there! I’’ll email you and mom when I get to St. Croix!

Nov

14

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Thursday, 14 November 2013
Noon Position: 15° 59.9’‘N x 061° 49.2’’W
Heading: 350°
Speed: 3 knots
Weather: Winds ENE F 2-3; Seas E’ly 2-3 ft, 30° C

Photo 1: Chief Scientist Chuck Lea presides over the research proceedings on the quarterdeck.
Photo 2: Farley presenting some hydrocast data. 
Photo 3: Gathered to see lava flows on Montserrat.

We pass by island after island.  They glimmer and glitter in the dark and present dramatic, green silhouettes in the muggy afternoon haze.  After so many days of blue water sailing, it’s still a bit of an adjustment to see so much land; and with it, the traffic and marine debris.  We were fixated this morning by a string of bright yellow buoys and net, probably some ghost net from a fishing vessel, drifting past our starboard side.

This afternoon the crew of the Corwith Cramer gathered to celebrate science on the quarterdeck.  Montserrat loomed in the distance, promising potential glimpses of an active volcano.  The long weeks of research ashore; sampling, processing, and analyzing aboard were at last coming to fruition.  Freeland and Daniel kicked it off with a discussion of Gulf Stream recirculation and compared their results to the last few fall cruises.  Emily and Ashley
presented Sargassum distribution on the cruise track and epibiont coverage on the weed, where they’’ve found my favorite little critter – a nudibranch! Farley looked at chlorophyll abundances in the surface waters and down to the Deep Chlorophyll Maximum.  Finally, Sage told us about the abundance of monofilament fishing line along our cruise track, so small it had to be counted under a microscope.

I’’ve been in lab this trip, helping these students learns to do deployments, and watching proudly as they take over running them, themselves.  I’ve entered the data into spreadsheets that have grown and grown into beastly lists of numbers, pages long.  (We’‘ve done over 50 stations so far!)  And for the last week, I’‘ve been impressed by their feverish work over computers to turn all that data into results, graphs and discussions.  Now they are presenting it an audience of their peers, in true conference fashion.  We just happen to have a tall ship as a platform and the Caribbean as our backdrop.  Shortly after today’s session ended, we at last got close enough to see the massive lava flows spilling into the ocean off of the active volcano on Montserrat.  We stood marveling at it from the science deck as the evening sun spilled through clouds over the island’s eastern slope.  I’‘m sure not complaining about the office view!

Kelsey Lane
3rd Scientist

Shout outs:
Emily says, “Happy Birthday, Dad!”
Kelsey is sending good, healing thoughts and lots of love to auntie LeAnn.

Nov

13

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Wednesday November 13, 2013
15° 43’N x 061° 44’W
Heading:  340°T
Speed: 5.5 Knots
Weather: Wind ExN F3, Seas ExN 4’

Photo caption: Laura and her oh so tiny tiny cup

We sampled here, we sampled there
We got samples from everywhere
Shallow and deep
And even what felt like in our sleep
The science must go on
Morning, noon, mid and dawn
Now science projects are nearly done!
They have been challenging, but even fun.
Rough drafts were due
We had a peer review
Now it’s time to make the final corrections
And be sure to follow all of Chuck’s directions
Laptops are out, and data is flying
Look at the data, is it possible it is lying?
Searching for a trend
Only to no end!
Oh woe is me!
However can this be?
Wow! Academics are really cranking up
But that did not stop us from decorating a Styrofoam cup
“For what?” you may want to know
To send them deep down below
They came back so tiny and cute
And we got deep CTD data to boot
There is just so much to do!
As we sail amongst these islands there is quite a view!
Our days here with this crew are racing past
It is all happening way too fast!

Fair winds and following seas
Maia

Nov

12

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Tuesday November 12, 2013
14° 39’N x 061° 40’W
Heading:  000°T
Speed:3-4 Knots
Weather: Wind E F3-4, Seas E’ly 5-7’
Photo caption: B Watch Mustache Watch

Dear family, friends, and curious onlookers,

It’s LP here, your friendly C watch deckhand.  Another day has passed here on the SSV Corwith Cramer.  The students are settling nicely back into the ship’s routines and all the nautical skills that got a little rusty on shore have come back in full for their JWO and JLO phase.  Keeping that in mind, I am not going to give a summary of the day’s events but rather I want to tell you a little bit about all the things not happening aboard the Cramer. The students are not turning to me with every single one of their questions. Myself and the mates have slowly taken a back seat while they charge ahead in manning the operations of the ship’s daily routine.  They no longer need to be told how to handle lines, fill out the logbook entries for the coastguard, gybe the ship, or complete a full scientific deployment.  The little expertise I have in the area of tall ship sailing has been passed along to this enthusiastic bunch and they haven’t looked back.  I am happy to say that I now act as an extra set of hands for my watch but I am confident that they could charge right on ahead without me and not look back. 

I have sailed with a number of people in my short carrier but this group of students has challenged me, made me laugh, and overall given me one of the best sailing experiences I’‘ve ever had. 

Hope it’s not too cold back at home,
LP

Mom, Dad, family, I love and miss you all.  Keep overfeeding my fugly cat while I am away.  He deserves it.-LP

Nov

11

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Monday November 11, 2013
13°00.9’N x 061°16.5’W
Wind: ExN BF 4 Sea: ExS 5ft

Photo Caption 1: The proper way to make watery poses
Photo Caption 2: Friendship Bay

Yesterday was our last day on Bequia and it was full of a lot of hiking. There a many beautiful mountains and cliffsides to walk along. On our hike we found a merry-go-round that was great fun. After, we took a nice swim enjoyed the waves.  We stopped by the apiary to get some local honey and John, the man who tends to the bees, was gracious enough to give us a tour. The bees use coconut trees to collect pollen from so the honey has a coconut flavor that was delicious. We got ice cream and I couldn’’t have been happier. The passion fruit flavor is one I wish I could bring home. Mark, our Trinidad observer, is very knowledgeable about the plants and culture of the Caribbean. My group learned a lot by walking around with him and I wasn’t afraid to try all of the fruits we picked along the way. He made a spicy cilantro mix called chow and it was a great snack. Sadly, he is leaving us today to go back home but we have all enjoyed our time with him.

After a morning field day to clean up our ship and make her seaworthy, we are now sailing away from Bequia. I know everyone has enjoyed our port stop but we are all excited to get sailing again before we make it to our final destination in St. Croix.

To Mark,
I know we said our good-byes today but know you will be missed greatly by everyone. Thank you for making A watch so A-mazing. Please send me cool pictures of all the sharks you work with!

Ashley Mackie-Donnelly
Eckerd College ‘13

Nov

10

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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November 10, 2013
GPS position: 13 00.48’N x 61 14.62’ W
Heading & Speed: at anchor in Admiralty Bay, Bequia
Weather: Wind ENE Force 3, Sea ExN 1ft

Photo Caption 1: The Cramer from land.
Photo Caption 2: The view at the Plantation.

Bequia! What an island. The Caribbean so far is filled with vibrant music and incredible, delicious food. With all the sun and sand and glorious vegetation about, you can’t forget to snack now and then while you’re enjoying the view, right? There is some American-ish food about—a few pizza parlors and typical burger-and-fries bar food in some of the waterfront eateries—but you’re not going to find a Mickey D’s or a Burger King anywhere on the island. Instead we’ve come to appreciate the little produce market near the water in Port Elizabeth where the vendors slice the fruit so you can try it before giving up your $10 EC (approximately $3.50 USD) for a bag of passionfruit—which is delicious, by the way. Other fruity bounties of this Caribbean jewel include soursop, sugarfruit, and of course lots of succulent mangoes—all of which are fresh, ripe, and readily available. You can actually get a variety of fruits and vegetables at this produce stand—we’ve found everything from basil to bananas to eggs (we had to ask around for those, but we found a guy who knew a guy who knew a guy).

By the way, it’s probably illegal to go to the Caribbean by way of the sea and not at least make a sincere effort to taste the way seafood is prepared here. For all the difficulty there is in physically getting food supplies to an island, the fish is right there in the water, ready to be caught and grilled! The other day I was lucky enough to enjoy an amazing lunch of fresh yellowtail at one of the local resorts. With an incredible view of the ocean through a stand of gently swaying palm trees and a good strong Caribbean breeze, I couldn’t have asked for better.

—Morgan Turner

But enough about food, because who comes here just for that? The destinations were the highlight of my trip. The first day, Friday, a few of us went to Friendship Bay. With white sandy beaches and water so warm and clear you’d hardly believe it. Needless to say we stayed there for most of the day before heading back into town and getting some dinner at a local beachfront café. Saturday was filled with even more adventure as we trekked across most of the island on our way to the Turtle Sanctuary. It ended up being closed, but the hike itself was treasure enough. After a failed attempt to make it to Shark Bay, we doubled back and waded a bit at Industry Bay, which despite its name, was beautiful. The pinnacle of our trip, however, was our time at the Plantation. This was a hotel, bar, restaurant and pool with free wifi and charging stations, so, paradise. We spent most of our time here, chatting with family, swimming and having an amazing time before heading back into the town for dinner. Each night, after dinner, we ended up at the beach near the abandoned hotel. Not the nicest name, but secluded and lovely for our purposes. We chatted and waited for our ride back to the boat and it was the perfect end to the perfect days on the little island in the Grenadines, Bequia.

This shoutout is once again for my husband, Gonzalo. It was amazing talking to you on Friday and Saturday. I love how we are able to fall right back into the normal swing of things, even after being apart for almost three months. I learned a lot about myself on this trip but the best thing I learned was just how much I truly love you. You are my husband and my best friend and I can’t wait to get back home so I can resume spending the rest of my life with you. I love you Gonzalo, always.

—Sage DeLuna

Nov

09

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Saturday November 9th
GPS Position: 13 00.48’N x 61 14.62’ W
Heading:  90°T
Speed: 0 Knots..anchored!!
Weather: Force 3, cloud cover 4/8, 28.2°C
Photo caption:  Friendship Bay where many of us hiked to and relaxed on the beach

Howdy!  Our second day anchored in beautiful Bequia has been truly unbelievable.  Today was C-Watch’s day onboard and was filled with both work and play.  But first….what it was like yesterday to feel land!! B Watch and C Watch had the day off to explore the small island and man was it wonderful.  Admiralty Bay, where we are currently anchored, has a coast surrounded by a small boardwalk of sorts in the main part of town made of concrete with waves constantly crashing on it and crabs dashing across.  A group of us wandered around the main part of town to get our bearings (ha-ha-ha, navigation jokes) and buy some ice cold coca-colas as well as fresh mangoes and passion fruit.  After we decided to attain the previously unattainable: hike to the beach everyone told us you could only sail to.  Needless to say, we did not make it.  But along the way we met hilarious and kind locals, ran into wild goats, encountered a very large barbed wire fence (that’s when we stopped walking), and saw the most amazing view of the bay.  I think that that experience is relevant to this whole experience on the Cramer; the journey.  The 0230 wakeups for dawn watch, the storytelling and singing on watch to keep everyone standing and alert, even the dreaded galley clean ups at 2300.  They are all part of this amazing journey that has led us to a stunning tropical place that all of us students can truly enjoy with the strong feeling of accomplishment; we made it to port!  YAHOO!! After that we bought some snacks with our fancy EC currency and headed over the big hill in the island to the other side’s Friendship Bay.  I ended up spending most of the day there lying in the sun and swimming in the clear blue water.  A serious treat after 22 days at sea, let me tell you!  Once lunch time came around we headed back to the main part of town for food and wifi to connect with family and friends alike.  It was crazy having a phone after so long!  My favorite part was listening to music and hearing my parents’ voices after so long.  Pretty special.  We ended the night at Tommy’s, a fun little restaurant with turquoise chairs, and a nice walk on the beach.  All in all, a great day on land.

My watch hung back today to give back to the ship and keep watch.  We got to do cool little projects for the boat as well as work on our big research projects which we will be presenting on Thursday.  I had a lot of really great moments today, including our swim call at 1600, making magic bars with Laura (2nd Assistant Scientist) and Farley (watchmate), counting 749 pteropods for four hours while listening to country music, decorating Will’s bunk for his 21st birthday by saran-wrapping it closed (he still doesn’t know yet…) and eating fish tacos.  Other than that, the day was pretty relaxing.  Being on land yesterday made me realize how much this ship feels like home.  By 2130 last night I was ready to get into my little bunk in the focsle and feel the ship sway me to sleep.  I think I could get used to this.

-Jamie Davidow

Shoutout:  Mom, Dad, Casey, Nicki it was awesome talking to you guys yesterday!  I will call again in St.Croix.  Until then-I love you all.

Nov

08

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

The SEA Semester office will be closed on Monday, November 11th in observance of Veteran’s Day.  While the ship blog will be posted through the long weekend the ship position will not be updated until Tuesday, November 12th.

Nov

08

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Friday, November 8th
GPS Position: 13° 00.5’N x 061° 14.6’W
Heading: At anchor
Speed: Hopefully, we don’t have one
Wind ESE force 2, temperature 33° C, otherwise known as sweltering.
Photo Caption 1: Taking a plunge from the Bow Sprit

Here we are!

Our first full day in Bequia has been beautiful, crystal clear, and hot… very, very hot. Nevertheless, soon we will cool off with a nice swim call in the gorgeous sapphire blue waters around this incredible island!

Port call so far has been a vast change from our normal schedules –instead of having one 6 hour watch followed by a 4 hour night watch with an eight hour break in between, each watch has the deck for an entire 24 hours over the course of the three days at port. This leaves each watch with one day to take care of the ship and two complete days to explore the incredible island just off of the bow! Today, B watch and C watch are on shore and A watch (the watch I am on, A.K.A “Squall team 6”) has the deck.

Port Elizabeth is quite small; no docks around are large enough to hold a ship the size of the SSV Corwith Cramer. For that reason, we are at anchor off the island. To get to the Bequia, we take our “Station Wagon,” a small boat and motor to the land. This morning, B and C watch took the station wagon to the island, marking the first time since October 13th that they have set foot on solid land.

Being the first Carribean island I have been through, I was awestruck by it’s incredible colors and beauty. Being from the coast of Southern California where water is cold year round, I could not believe how warm the water is here; it literally feels like a swimming pool, something I could never say about the waters from my hometown. Also, a nice little panic attack from using the Cramer’s bow sprit as a diving board can be described as nothing short of pure awesomeness.

Even with the incredible landscape around me, I must confess that the one aspect of port that has given me the most joy is being able to hear music once again. Most days when we are at sea we are not permitted to listen to recorded music. This is because crew members must be alert at all times in case of any emergency. As a violin performance major, when I turned my ipod speakers on for the first time in 4 weeks I could not believe how much I had missed hearing my favorite songs and pieces.

Tomorrow will be a very fun and exciting day for A watch. The thought of stepping onto land is less than 24 hours away from us! It will also be a fantastic last two days to spend time with our deck hand and great new friend from Trinidad, Mark. After our port stop, he will be departing the Cramer to return to Trinidad. Mark (it feels a bit strange, I’‘m writing about him while he is sitting right next to me and he has no idea), we will miss you dearly (though I must say, life on the ship will be a little less confusing with one less Mark around)! I hope your voyage home is safe, and I feel as if this isn’’t the last time I will see you. With his departure, we have gained a new member of A watch, Sarah, who will join us for the remainder of the voyage.

Plenty of adventure still to come!

Marc Rosenfield, Chapman University ‘16

Nov

07

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Thurday, November 7th
GPS Position: 13° 00.5’N x 061° 14.6’W
Heading: At anchor
Speed: 0 knots, hopefully
Wind ESE force 2, minimal cloud cover, temperature 29° C
Photo caption 1: Our view of Port Elizabeth

Well, we finally made it—Bequia (pronounced Beck-way, despite our repeated attempts at calling it Bee-quee-uh,) our port stop in the Caribbean. I wish I could describe the approach to our first real touch of earth in the past four weeks; honestly, I wish I could at least try—I was asleep at the time. Standing watch from 2300 to 0300 really takes it out of you. But there was no sleeping through the massive clanging brought about by the anchor being let out and I came on deck, somewhat grouchily I might add, to find an entire island dominating our view. The harbor is filled with boats ranging from extravagant yachts, most of which have been claimed by someone on board as their new personal craft, to car ferries, scows, and dinghies. Rolling hills sporting shades and hues of green I had forgotten existed are dotted by pastel colored houses perched above a crashing surf that pounds away at cliff edges. Not 50 meters down the coast from the foaming waves you’ll find sandy beaches and gently swaying palms that are as inviting to lay under as anything you’ve ever wished for. With all that temptation lying at our very fingertips, it’s a wonder no one jumped ship then and there and swam for shore.

That would have to wait of course, as we had more important things to attend to—cleaning the ship! Gotta look nice for our adoring public, so the day was spent harbor furling our sails to make them look all pretty like, launching and practicing with our two small boats for shore runs, and taking half-hourly anchor bearing in case we do something silly like starting to drift away. Our new crew member Sarah also arrived today and since then we’’ve been bombarding her with everything she’ll need to know for the next week. While I’m sure it’s overwhelming, she says she’s happy to be here and I hope we do a good job welcoming her aboard. When all was said and done, we had the immense pleasure of taking a swim call in the bay. Even better, we were allowed to jump from the head rig, the netting attached to the bowsprit we stand on to furl the jib and jib tops’l. Everyone lined up, some preferring to jump from the much less heights of the rails, and leapt off into the warm, clear water below. Man, we were like little kids out there—everyone was paddling around having a generally good time. It was the first time we’d been allowed to swim after four weeks of watching so much beautiful water slip by the hull, and it showed—I don’t think I’ve ever had so much seawater up my nose, but we all kept jumping in nonetheless. Had to watch out for Freeland though—with all the yachts around, I was a bit worried he might swim off and commandeer one for himself.

After swim call was finished, Keven (the Bastemaster) and Trevor (the Grill Sage) treated us to some spectacularly delicious steak and salmon cooked on a grill hung over the side of the ship. After eating a disconcerting amount of food for my own part, strings of lights were strung up across the quarterdeck, a stereo was fished out, and we had our very own little soiree right on deck. Party attire covered an impressive range of clothing options, with some very lovely dresses mixing happily with those in t-shirts, bowties, and drag. I won’t spoil the surprise—I’ll leave it to the parents to find out exactly who the lovely ladies with surprisingly deep voices were. Mocktails were served under the watchful gaze of our DJ and a toast was made to Neptune for the over two thousand miles we have come thus far. Cupcakes were on hand for my own birthday, which was very sweet so I’d like to thank all the parents out there for raising their kids to know how to make one fine batch of icing. The “ship” drawn across the top was a lovely touch as well, so thank you to Serena and Ashley. Dancing was an… interesting endeavor; some standouts were Keven, Farley, and Miles for their valiant efforts to incorporate sail handling maneuvers into their dance steps.  Special musical acts also performed to the contemplative appreciation (in the case of Marc’s solo symphony) and toe-tapping (for the blugrass interludes) of the audience. One group, Marc and Mark and the Funky Bunch, included such songs as Island in the Sun, No Woman No Cry, and Land Down Under with Marc on violin and Mark on guitar. The Science Deck String Band, composed of Farley on banjo, Marc and Kelsey on violin, and myself on guitar, brought things a more grassroots feel with Blackberry Blossom and Wagon Wheel, featuring our very own Captain Colleen on vocals. An excellent night all around to prepare us for the days ahead of mosquito bites and sunburn, and I couldn’t be more excited about the prospects.


Shoutouts to friends and family who continue to keep up with our adventures.

Kelsey would like to say hi to Kelly and Becky

Freeland misses his dog very much

Marc (who we’ve all gotten used to calling Rosie due to having one Mark and one Marc): Aaron, Laura Beth, Joanne, Nic, and all my friends and family at home, I’m excited to see you and will be home soon!

For me: Ma, Pa, Abi, Timmy, Mombea and Grandy- in just another week you’‘ll be able to tell me how tan I’ve gotten. I haven’t gone ashore yet, but I’ll do my best to avoid the tattoo parlors when I do. Love and miss you all.

Will Reisinger, Colgate University ‘15

Nov

06

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Wednesday October 6th, 2013
GPS Position:  13degress 15.1’N x 60 degrees 27.5’W
Heading: 020 C
Speed: 3.6 knots
Wind: SE Force 4, cloud cover 6/8 Cu, Cb, Ci, Temp: 28.9
Photo 1: Jamie and Chief Scientist Chuck Lea handling the wire with Farley on the wire control

Today marks the beginning of the anxiously, excitedly awaited Phase III of the C-249 cruise when all of us students become JWO’s (Junior Watch Officers) and JLO’s (Junior Lab Officers—no not the singer as awesome as that would be).  What does that mean, ye landlubbers wonder?  Let me break it down.  The JWO for the on watch crew is in charge of all deck operations under their watchful but silent mate.  This means figuring out sail handling for the four to six hour shift—will you have to heave to for science?  If so, how?  A double gybe, perhaps?  But that isn’t all the JWO must think of.  There’s the ever present hourly boat checks, weather observations, and GPS or DR positions.  Mix in wake-up for the next watch, switching your motley crew around from the helm to lookout to floater and you have got a busy watch to control.  Being a JLO is similar in the vast amount of responsibility for being in charge of lab operations with a highly educated but unmotivated Assistant Scientist standing by.  Neuston tow ready to go? Hourly logbook updated?  Surface Station processed?  SO MANY THINGS TO DO!

While the stress of being in charge is certainly frightening and a little overwhelming, I feel ready for this new phase.  Why?  Because I have my watch to help me out.  C-Watch, which is really more like a family to me now, has my back no matter what.  The knowledge that someone on my watch, whether on deck or in lab, can help me out if I am in a tough spot (should we Ballantine the jib halyard?!?!?! Or is the weather going to be nice enough just to coil and hang it?!?!) makes me feel infinitely better about this new phase.  One of my watchmates, Hewson, will be the first JWO on C-249 tonight and I sneaked a quick interview with her while she was preparing for tonight’s watch.

Me:  How did you feel when you heard your name called out to be first JWO?
Hewson:  Honestly, I was pretty nervous when I found out I was going to be the first one.  I feel like it is a lot of pressure going first and I definitely started double guessing myself and my ability to run this 134 foot tall ship.  But then excitement came as people continued to talk to me about it so I would say I am looking forward to it. 
Me:  So do you think the announcement process can be compared to the Hunger Games?
Hewson:  *Nervous laughter* Um. 
Me:  So basically you are Katniss. 
Hewson:  I have to go look up some sail handling stuff now….

Needless to say, I think Hewson is going to do amazing tonight and I could not be prouder of my watch. 

Tomorrow we anchor in Bequia and ready ourselves for the three day port stop. C Watch will be hitting up Bequia on Friday and Sunday (Mom and Dad I will try calling home then!) which we are all super psyched for. 

A brief list of things we are excited for:

1. Ice cubes
2. Ice cream
3. Iced coffee

Well that is all for now from the SSV Corwith Cramer. 

-Jamie Davidow

Shoutout:  Mama, Papa, Casey, and Nicki-I miss and love you all so much and I am hoping to call soon.  I am having the time of my life, loving the sea and sailing. Can’t wait to hear about DC Prep, AU, bitch and stitch, and some weird Sasha stories.  Tha prophet, Hayat, Allegra, Stacey, Jack, Nick and all my friends-I hope college is a blast and I miss you all to the moon and back. Love love love always.  PS Mama—beef stroganoff please?!?!?!

Shoutout to Marc’s parents Penny and Paul: I miss you and will see you soon 

Nov

05

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Tuesday 5th November
13° 05.5’N x 059° 43.7’W
Heading: 248° True
Speed: 3.0 Knots
Wind: ESE Force 2, 4/8ths cloud cover, cumulus, 32.5°C

Photo Caption 1 – Jaime and Farley aloft on the course yard
Photo Caption 2 – Serena and Emily furling the jib tops’l

Hello readers,

Today’s blog is written by the engineer above this lovely sailing vessel. In an ideal world, my job would require minimal work, after all, we are a sailing vessel right? Well, other than having the main engine for our days in the doldrums, this sailing vessel comes equipped with such things as electricity to power the lights and outlets, plumbing so we can shower and use the heads, refrigeration to make our food cold, a stove to make our food warm, and of course those fascinating reverse osmosis watermakers. I am happy to report that besides some minor day-to-day hiccups, all equipment onboard the Corwith Cramer is running beautifully. So far, our two watermakers have been living up to their name and making a lot of water. As of noon today, we as a ship have consumed approximately 10,700 gallons of water, and the watermakers have made 10,300 gallons of water. Currently we have about 5,400 of gallons onboard, which at a comfortable 8 gallons per person per day, would give us 3 weeks of water. Of course, the watermakers give us an almost unlimited supply of water, so who’s counting?

Engineering aside, the students are all doing wonderfully. It is incredible to watch the transformations these students go through in such a short period of time. Of course they learn the obvious things for college credit —nautical science, oceanography, and maritime studies—but even more than that they grow as human beings. They learn how to work together and be leaders in stressful situations. They learn how to be part of a tight-knit community where no single person’s desires are above the needs of the group as a whole. They learn how to make mistakes, but how to grow from those mistakes. And of course, they learn to work hard, and to think in a different mindset. As Harvey Oxenhorn wrote in Tuning the Rig, ‘So much of the pressure on land is toward seeking loopholes in order to excel; at sea it is toward refusing them in order to belong.’ The students that came aboard 4 weeks ago have transformed, I think for the better. You will see the transformation for yourself, and I hope you agree.

Best,
Mickey Cavacas

A special thanks to everyone and anyone on land who made this trip possible— parents, admissions counselors, marine support staff—we’re having a lot of fun out here!

Nov

04

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Monday, 4 November
14° 23.3’N x 059° 25.9’W
Heading: 184° True
Speed: 4.0 Knots
Wind: SExS Force 3, 4/8ths cloud cover, cumulus, altocumulus and cirrus
clouds, 28.5°C

Photo Caption 1: Keven on the course yard

When we left Menemsha Bight, Martha’s Vineyard we were excited to leave land behind. We were excited to get to a point far enough into the ocean that land was out of sight. I didn’t watch land as it faded from view, so I can’‘t even remember the last piece of land I saw. But as we continue our journey, and slowly mark off degrees of Northern latitude, I think we are all getting excited to see land again. Not that we are ready for this trip to be over.

Not many people will ever get a chance to experience three full weeks of straight open ocean sailing. It’s been an amazing experience, but as we continue to sail into the Caribbean, people are wondering when we will actually get to see the Caribbean. As far as we know, not much has changed since we left Massachusetts. The temperature. That has certainly changed. And we’’ve passed through some distinct ocean ecosystems, but this big blue ocean is still big and blue. I am certainly excited to finally spot land in the next few days and see the product of our past three week’s effort. In an attempt to maybe catch an early glimmer of land on the distant horizon, Daniel Zeller and I climbed to the top yard of the foremast this afternoon. The sea was a little more active than some of us would have hoped (specifically me), but nonetheless we ascended. And it was worth it. The view from the top was fantastic. But the best part was getting the chance to watch our shipmates strike the tops’l beneath us. After warning us of their intentions, our friends struck the sail in no time at all with very little management from the standing mate. It gave me a new perspective on how much we have learned and developed in these past few weeks. We knew nothing when we first stepped on to the ship, and that helplessness seems so silly now. We expect phase three of the voyage to come in to effect in the next few days, and with that more responsibility and independence. As Junior Watch Officers we will largely be responsible for running this ship. And I’‘m nervous. I’’ve learned a lot, but I don’t know everything. None of us do. But as a group we’re probably pretty close. And I’m pretty sure that’s the lesson we’re learning out here. We’re not thinking about just ourselves. We’re thinking about the ship and our shipmates. This voyage and this responsibility isn’t about me, it’s about them.   

Keven Dooley
Colorado College ‘15

Also! Shout out to Poppa Steve, Momy, Brother and Sister. And Turrbot. And Gus. Lovelove.

Nov

03

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Sunday 03 November 2013
Position: 15055.9’ N x 58047.6’ W
Heading: 2000 True
Speed: 4.8 Knots
Winds: SExS, Force 4, 5/8ths cloud cover, predominantly cumulus with some cirrus, 28.90C

Photo Caption 1 - Flying fish
Photo Caption 2 - Scientific sampling gear: CTD Carousel.

Greetings to the outside world, from the warm, tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a sunny Sunday, fair weather, sailing winds, our stay’ls trimmed tight in the afternoon breeze. Although I am at home in warmer temperatures, I do miss the cooler, higher latitudes. After a fine breakfast, we feasted our eyes to a partial solar eclipse. Armed with sextants, we lined the port quarter of the ship to catch a glimpse of this natural wonder, using the darkest shade possible to shield our eyes from the remaining light of the sun. Fingers crossed that we are lucky enough to see the green flash as well before the trip is over, never a dull day onboard the Corwith Cramer.   

Every day I am on the lookout for new signs of life at sea (not because I am here as an observer mind you). Within the past few days, we have had three flying fish dive onto the deck, and unlike past events (which the crew would have shared), none have flown through any doors to hit persons in the head. As for birds, we have had no landings in recent times, though three masked boobies flying around the ship greeted our watch this morning (A watch).

They may have been the ones hovering around the bow, under the cover of darkness, squawking at Serena and me last night during bow watch. Science is always intriguing; one wonders what fascinating new creatures will surface with each day’s neuston tow or meter net. Small Portuguese-man-of-wars and purple bubble wrap snails were among the curious finds of today’s neuston net tow.

My body has come a long way adapting to the motions of the boat.  I am now able to fully stomach and enjoy meals to their fullest, prepared by our skilled Steward and assistants (rotated daily). After a full and productive morning of scientific sampling and sail handling, we were treated to some oh-so-good Pizza for lunch. Thank you Jamie and Hewson, for a meal so tasty, after much consumption I am now obligated to hit the deck gym. Life on the Cramer has been quite an experience, from sail handling to science, sharing the experience with an amazing crew and enthusiastic students. Though I will be departing for home at the halfway point when we arrive in Bequia, it has been the experience of a lifetime, and until then, it continues to be. Heading to that gym now, will check the fishing line on my way there.

Cheers,
Mark Charran,
Trinidad and Tobago Observer

Special shout out to Mom, Dad, Zack and Stacy, love you guys!

Nov

02

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Saturday 02 November 2013
Position: 17° 14.2’’N x 058° 10.0’’W
Heading: 175°T
Speed: 5.4 knots, motor sailing
Wind SExE Force 3, mostly cloudy with cumulus and cirrus clouds, 27.2°C

Photo Caption 1: The contents of the galley on deck for field day
Photo Caption 2: Shooting stars

Hello friends and family of the Cramer Crew! Excitement is high as we approach the Tropics and the start of Phase III, where students will face new challenges as Junior Watch Officers. I think most of us have grown more confident calling the shots as shadows, though I’ve had a few sleepless nights tossing and turning in my bunk (not just due to the swells) in fear that boat checks and weather observations had not been completed for the hour. We will surely return as masters of time management, as well as sailors and scientists.

Today was our third Field Day! We are all thankful for this, as the constant heat has made spaces below deck a bit ripe with that bunk funk. My watch, A watch, scrubbed the galley and washed a mountain of dishes while jamming out to some tunes. We then had a refreshing deck shower top wash off the sweat and grime. Hopefully that clean smell and feel lasts a few days!

Tonight, I joined C watch for star frenzy where everyone grabs a sextant and shoots stars in order to determine a celestial fix. This was challenging due to the cloud cover, but hopefully we got some good shots and can update our position. I’‘d highly recommend asking for a sextant for Christmas. As I write I hear the dinner bell, so I must be off so that I have energy for evening watch. Yet another mountain of dishes awaits me. Fare well!

Serena Lundgren
Lawrence University ‘15

Much love to my family and my LU family. I hope everyone is in good health and spirits. Don’t let 8th week get you down, LU folks! Remember that we’re looking at the same stars every night, and when I come back I can teach you guys even more stars and constellations and I know you’’ll pretend to care while I nerd out. But anyways don’t worry about me. It is peaceful here. I wear lots of sunscreen, I identify lots of leptocephali, and I think of you often.

Nov

01

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Friday 01 November 2013
Position: 18°52.6’N x 058°36.0’W
Heading: 184° True
Speed: 4.5 knots under the four lowers
Weather: Wind SExS Force 4, Sea SE x E 7ft

November in the Caribbean! Well, almost. And just barely. The first of November already, and we are really feeling the heat of these lower latitudes—the hottest days on deck have been breaking 30°C! The swell has been significant of late, and as a result we’ve been experiencing a lot of warm sea spray on deck. Or if you were on the bow as lookout at 0500 like I was, the more appropriate term is likely something along the lines of “sea shower” or “salt water supersoaker”. Maybe a “salty sunrise soaking”? Wet or dry, it was a beautiful dawn.

As far as wind goes, we are all hoping the trades will kick in soon —for real this time—, as having the engine running for any period of time immediately turns the below deck spaces into a group sauna. In spite of the heat, we are all in good spirits after our memorable Halloween festivities yesterday. This morning B watch welcomed November as we took the deck for Dawn Watch and enjoyed a spectacular night sky in the early hours as well as a brief and refreshing bit of rain. Dawn Watch day is usually fairly relaxed: the period after Dawn Watch is sometimes known as “the weekend” because it involves twelve hours of free time—usually to sleep, shower, and do project work. It can be a great help while the students are juggling assignments and research. Tonight B watch will take the deck again for the evening, and hopefully see some good stars and constellations —my favorite part of any nighttime watch.

Shout out to my family, hope you all are doing great and enjoying the cooler weather in California! Send my love to Cooper, that poor kid.

Fair Winds,

Morgan Turner
Deckhand

Oct

31

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Thursday 31 October 2013
Position: 20° 33.4’’N x 058° 45.4’’W
Heading: 174° True
Speed: 5.5 knots, motor sailing under the two staysy’ls
Weather: Wind ESE Force 4, cumulous and cirrus cloud cover, air temperature 29.5°C

Photo caption 1: Group Halloween photo
Photo caption 2: Will as Daniel, Daniel as Chuck, Chuck as Hippie

Happy Halloween from all aboard the Corwith Cramer! We are currently cruising along through the transition waters of the North Atlantic, well on our way to the port of Bequia. Today was a bit of an atypical day aboard the ship, as we all got decked out in some awesome costumes and celebrated in true Cramer style! We enjoyed a little on board trick or treating, held a best costume contest, and awards were presented in different categories for our pumpkins carved by each watch. I am extremely proud to say that my very own C watch walked away with the award for the ‘most creative’ pumpkin with our octopus/sea monster design.

After the costume party on the quarter deck we jumped right back into the normal swing of things; that is until the much anticipated scary stories circle began at 2015 on the science deck. We all gathered round and passed the eerie red flashlight as students and crew took turns sharing their most frightening tales. This really got everyone on edge and in the mood for the amazing haunted boat tour put together by the crew. I take my hat off to them for making this an incredibly fun and memorable Halloween!
Between all the scares and excessive candy intake, I sure hope to be able to get some sleep tonight!

In closing, I would like to give a shout out to Samantha, Delilah, and Danielle, as well as all my friends back at home. I love you all and miss you a ton! See you in a few weeks!

-Nick Glendenning

Oct

30

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Wednesday 30 October 2013
Position: 22° 30.5’’W x 58° 39.2’‘W
Heading: 174° True
Speed: 3 knots, sailing under all fore and aft sail
Weather: Wind SE Force 3, Swell 6 feet

Caption 1: C Watch Carving a C-Monster Pumpkin
Caption 2: Cramer under full sail

Halloween is tomorrow, but any sign of autumn was left behind in Woods Hole. There are no fall colors, no freezing rain, no wool sweaters, no Christmas carols on the radio…. Halloween on the Corwith Cramer is going to be a different kind of day but it already is shaping up to be memorable. The ship was decorated yesterday by the first assistant scientist, Maia, the chief mate, Colleen, and the engineer, Mickey. Fake blood is splattered about, florescent spiders crawl above the main salon table, and paper pumpkins
smile from the hutch. In addition, four pumpkins sailed with us from Woods Hole. Of those, one quickly rotted, so three will be expertly carved – one by each watch.

C watch has begun an elaborate octopus – influenced “C” monster design. The tropical heat might be an added challenge to keeping the design from melting, but the effort won’t go unnoticed. As for me, I am looking forward to pulling out my Halloween costume for tomorrow’ afternoons costume party. In an effort to pack light on this trip, my costume is just a red bandana and blue coveralls (found in the ship’s paint supplies). Don’t tell anyone – most people are keeping their costume a surprise– but I am going to be Rosie the Riveter.  Well, I imagine it could be snowing back at home in Michigan… hope you all are doing well and I can’t wait to hear about it.

Sarah Herard
2nd Mate

Shout out from Jamie D-Mom, Dad, Casey, and Nicki it is true I chopped off my hair and it’s awesome.  Y’all will love it and probably not recognize me at the airport.  Love and miss you all like crazy.

Oct

29

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Tuesday 29 October 2013
Position: 23° 21.0’’W x 58° 10.0’‘W
Heading: 174° True
Speed: 5.8 knots, motor sailing
Weather: Wind SxE Force 3, cumulous cloud cover, air temperature 27.5°C

Caption 1: The Athletes of the Brigantine Olympics
Caption 2: Will R. and Marc R. deploying the pig and Secchi disk, with Will’s Go Pro mounted on the wire

Greetings from the Transition Zone! This morning we passed out of the South Sargasso Sea, and we’ll soon hit the Tropics. Today was a busy day aboard the Cramer, and not made any easier by the egret who has taken shelter on our deck. We named the little guy JT, after one of our sails, but as Farley pointed out, we’re hoping that nobody gets the wrong idea if a mate calls “strike the JT!” Besides maneuvering around our feathery friend, we’ve had some time to relax and prepare for Halloween. Some crewmembers decorated the engine room, lab, library, and main salon, and A watch carved their pumpkin. Some of us are having a little trouble remembering it’s fall, given the intense heat, but like Jamie says “we work on our celestial navigation lines, not our tan lines.”

After class today we had a man overboard drill. We had to quickly strike the JT (disclaimer: no birds were harmed during the course of this drill), and the Jib and then turn around to go collect the life rings thrown overboard. It was a great test of our sail handling skills and I think we’re all getting more and more confident about everything we’ve learned over the
past two weeks.  This is especially important as we continue to take turns being shadow on deck and in lab. It’s stressful keeping track of everything that needs to get done, with engine room checks, weather observations, position plotting, and more, but also a fantastic learning experience. We’’re learning to look out for each other and work as a team to keep the ship in tip top condition. 

Mom, Dad, Kayla, and other doubters- I haven’’t fallen overboard yet! I’’ve been keeping a journal of everything I’’ve done; when I get home be sure to ask me about my day as assistant steward, which may or may not have included a minor mess.… Love you! 

Quick shout-out to Jamie’s family, she cut off about 10 inches of her hair today to help with the heat!

Fair winds,
Emily Bishop
University of Rhode Island ‘15

Oct

28

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Monday, 28 October 2013
Position: 24° 51.2’ N x 058° 28.3’ W
Heading: 174° True
Speed: 5 knots
Weather: Force 4 wind, 3/8 cloud cover, stratocumulus, with air temperature of 27.4°C.

Photo Caption 1: B watch gets into the spirit of Halloween and carves a pumpkin! (Sage. Colleen, Keven , Daniel, Patrick, Kelsey, Zoe, Hope and Morgan)

Photo caption 2: Hope, as the assistant engineer for the watch, turns on the water valves to begin reverse osmosis!

My watch, the lovely B watch, took over at 2300 on October 27th (that’s 11 pm for those of you on land) and stood watch until 0300, or 3 am. We enjoyed our ‘sleep of kings’, which is what we call our chance to sleep through until our next watch at 1300 (1 pm). I took advantage of this opportunity and unfortunately missed the brouhaha at breakfast where the whipped cream exploded onto people’s bunks and the bookshelves of the main salon. Luckily it was all cleaned up by the time I rolled out of bed at 1000.

Before our 1300 watch, B watch had a group meeting. We gathered and carved a pumpkin on the ship’s quarter deck. After much deliberation, we decided to sketch a heron hovering over a pumpkin as a silent homage to our avian visitor of the past couple of days.

Then during watch, as assistant to the engineer for the day, I helped our chief engineer, Mickey. We fixed a few of the bunk lights. I learned more about the water maker on board and turned on different valves to begin the reverse osmosis process. I also came up with the next engine room trivia question: in Harry Potter, what is professor Dumbledore’s full name?

Then I returned to deck watch in time for the shooting star frenzy at twilight, in which many of my mates come out with sextants and try to find navigational stars in order to get a celestial fix on our location. Though it was cloudy and hard to see, we were able to shoot Vega. All and all, a good day at sea! As an added bonus, the captain announced that we could shower in fresh water every other day, instead of every three days! In fact, because of the humidity, this was a new requirement. 

- Hope Goodrich, Oberlin College ‘14

To my friends and family who are following the blog, hello! I am doing well. My favorite thing about doing a night watch is being lookout on the bow, which means standing at the very front of on the ship and looking out for squalls and traffic. It is very beautiful out here; being at sea agrees with me and I quite like it. I am pleased to find a wide selection of reading material on board; currently I am reading ‘The Elegance of the Hedgehog’. The food is good too! Everybody on board has seemed to pick up on my love of oranges, apples, and pasta. I was assistant to the steward in the galley (kitchen) a few days ago and we had pasta for both lunch and dinner (no one was really surprised at this development). We’’re using the ‘Joy of Cooking’—mom, we made lemon squares for a midnight snack! Give Buster a good pat for me! I miss you and have been taking lots of photos. The sunsets and clouds are exquisite. Stay warm on land! May your weather and winds be fair.

Oct

27

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Sunday 27 October 2013
Position: 26° 33.4’’N x 58° 31.4’’W
Heading: 174° True
Speed: motorsailing at 5.4 knots
Conditions: Winds SSE force 3, moderate cloud cover, 27°C

Photo Caption 1: Team Granada playing Weather Observations.
Photo caption 2: The news crew hard at work.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the C-249 Brigantine Olympics! This afternoon brought the excitement of some friendly competition. In place of class, some lovely students and staff took it upon themselves to bring a little entertainment our way in the form of an optional activity. The afternoon began with an opening ceremony in which the athletes paraded up and down the ship passing the “torch” from each to the next while being accompanied by some appropriately themed music. Afterwards the participants divided into three teams appropriately named for countries in the Caribbean.

Then came the real fun. First, there was Squall Preparation in which a member from each team had to dress their partner in their foul weather gear. This is harder than it sounds because the persons being dressed were instructed not to move their limbs on their own. Next came Weather Observations. Each team selected four members to participate. The first person manned the salt water hose and aimed it at the bucket a second teammate was holding a little ways away. When the bucket was full it was then passed to a third member sitting on the roof of the lab who then tried to pour the water into a graduated cylinder the fourth teammate was holding on top of their head below. The goal was to fill the cylinder in the least amount of time.

At this point in the Olympics, teams were showing their full pride. After each event teams talked to the news crew that magically appeared on deck to cover the spectacle, each boasting of their superior skills in each activity. Following this, the sport moved on to Salty Sailor, which boils down to a laughing contest. Each participant placed a saltine cracker in their mouth and on the count of three turned to face their opponents. The goal was to make everyone else laugh and break his or her cracker while yours stayed intact. It was quite a riot to watch. Then we had the Hot and Cold Relay where being “on watch” made for an interesting relay race. The setup was that one person in each pair was wearing their chest harness on watch and suddenly they got cold so they had to put on another shirt without taking their harness off. When this was done their partner had to crab walk around the deck and when they returned to the starting point the first person all of a sudden got too warm and had to remove the shirt without taking off the harness. Our final event was Team Building in which each team had to form a human knot by holding hands and then untangle themselves without letting go.

Though a winner was declared, the most rewarding part of the Olympics was that everyone enjoyed themselves and dove in completely to support their team and the activities they were doing. It was nice to see how much people cared about making sure everyone had a fun way to relax and let off some steam on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.

-Lina Rosenberg, Lawrence University ‘15

To all those I left behind on shore, I miss you all and love you and can’’t wait to see you! I hope you’re having as great a six weeks as I am, and I promise to share all my stories when I get back. Gramps, I’‘m glad to hear the surgery went well, wishing you a speedy recovery. And Dad, keep chugging along-I’‘m doing my physical therapy, are you!?

Oct

26

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Saturday 26 October 2013
Position: 27° 59.0’‘N x 058° 34.4’’W
Heading: 201°
Conditions: Beaufort Force 1 from SW, temperature 31°C

Photo Caption: The world is pretty beautiful

Hello all the people back on shore! So we just recently switched Watch Officers for our watches. This signifies the end of Phase 1 and the beginning of Phase 2 where we now have more responsibilities. Everyone is bringing to the table things that they excelled at during the first phase. This is the time we as sailors can improve our skills that need improving and become better shipmates. This means gybing with less supervision and having to make decisions and figure out situations on your own. It’‘s exhilarating when you’re in the saddle and it’s your rodeo. Today I got to shadow as the Scientist; I had to make decisions about when to process catches from the net tows as well as helping the deck out with sail handling. This shadowing process embraces learning by doing head on. It’’s difficult to say about what comes next and what the next day will be like.

What we see out here changes day by day, today we saw dolphins and mahi mahi and tomorrow we may see something totally different or handle conditions that we never expected. It’s a crazy ocean and it’s awesome to be along for the ride.

-Miles Z. Cooper
’17 Colorado College

To Mum I miss you an awful lot I can’‘t wait to see you again. I also miss my sibs Sebastian, Karl and Larcy hope you guys are enjoying your year thus far. To my mates: Peter I hope your enjoying learning about the dead sea scrolls and you are schenagining it up at SLC. Matt I hope you are enjoying Tufts also I especially want to see you when I get back and hear about everything. Martin you are brilliant as always and I hope you have engineered something awesome we can scare Peter’s mum using. Abe I hope you are rocking your last year of high school and have discovered some awesome music. Finally to Luca I miss you more than words can describe I miss our skating around Oslo and hope Paris is treating you well.

Happy Birthday papa Russ! I miss and love you so much -Morgan

Happy birthday Emily Bohn, I love and miss you, I hope nursing school is going great! - Your loving cousin Zoe Psarouthakis

Oct

25

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Friday 25 October 2013
Position: 29° 13’N x 58° 30’W by dead reckoning after a running fix.
Sail Plan: Motor sailing under the 4 lowers.  Speed over ground: 6 knots. 
Heading: 210° per ship’s compass.
Weather: mostly clear, light breeze SWxW, 3 foot seas, SSW.

Photo Caption 1: A finch resting on a line
Photo Caption 2: The decorated ARGO float we deployed on Wednesday.

Hello to the friends and families of the crew of the SSV Corwith Cramer. It’s Trevor here, the assistant engineer, writing on behalf of our merry band of sailors.  We’re currently making good speed with the help of our trusty 500 horse Cummins diesel, and the apparent wind generated from our way makes for a nice cool ship.  It’s dusk here, and the stars and planets are showing up one by one as the last of the sun’s light fades to the West. B watch has the deck, and they will surely be shooting some stars and reducing their sextant observations into a new celestial fix, so we can tell where we are in the Sargasso Sea.

The students are in good spirits, especially C watch, who went aloft in the rigging today for the first time, after completing their required safety training and proving themselves worthy by memorizing the locations of all the fire extinguishers on the ship.  It feels good to see everyone on board quickly becoming competent watch-standers and sailors in their own right. Only week two, and it’s obvious that everybody aboard is finding their groove.  We have some visitors tonight, hopping around the deck, hiding in the scuppers, and resting their weary wings after many days of flight: there’s Petey Jr. 1 and Petey Jr. 2, the pair of finches, and then there’s Henry Herman Hoover, the somewhat reserved Blue Heron who is normally found sulking beneath one of the starboard stays’l travelers.

Here’s a few snapshots from today:
Zoe and Mickey rebuilt the titanium high pressure pump that powers the reverse osmosis watermakers.  Farley put a nice whipping on the new port main stays’l outhaul.  Miles went for his first climb into the rig, which happens to be his first climb of any sort that he knows of.  Laura Page, our trusty deckhand says she’s doing swimmingly.  Ashley is presently barely leading Miles in a tight game of cribbage in the main saloon, but her hand doesn’t look promising.  However, she identified a species of hydroid today that she hadn’t seen before, so she’s all smiles.  Daniel says laughing is good, because it means you have endorphins, which means you are happy.  Nick is playing some solo guitar with Will playing rhythm and Farley plucking his homemade banjo.  Jamie is pretty pumped about her climb all the way out the course yard, where she watched the sun set.  Lina is the assistant steward today and has prepared some memorable meals and snacks, which improves morale all around.  And me?  I finished painting the forward grey- and blackwater tanks and their brilliant white exteriors belie their foul contents, which will be pumped overboard in short order.

Hope all is well wherever you readers are.  If anyone from my family is reading, can you ask Jeremy to put a charge on my 6-volt battery, which I left in his woodshop?  Thanks.  Also, love you all, and see you soon.

-Trevor Kauffman, assistant engineer

Oct

24

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Thursday 24 October 2013, at 1700
Position: 30° 09.1’N x 059° 10.5’W
Heading:  120° true
Speed: 5 Knots
Weather: wind force 4 from WSW, cloud cover 1/8 cumulus, air temperature 27.2°C

Photo caption: The Tri Colored Heron that landed on our bow.

Although today started very wet it is now beautiful out. My watch (A Watch) started the day at 0300 on dawn watch. For most of our watch we passed through line after line of rain squalls and if not for our foulies we would have been soaked. As the day progressed, the sky gradually cleared, the decks dried off and everyone was able to relax on deck, as long as they weren’’t on watch.

This afternoon, class time was dedicated to the shipboard section of our research projects. We broke into our project groups and began going over data and figuring out how to process it. Tomorrow each group will brief the crew on the details of their project including what it is, how data is being collected, and how the data will be processed. As far as scenery goes it’s blue above and blue below. At around 1330 a tri color heron landed on the bow and as far as I know, it’s still chilling in downhaul downtown. During class a butterfly flew over the quarter deck, although how it got here is a mystery.

Freeland Ackert ’‘13
Landing School

Oct

23

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

Corwith Cramer Blog

Corwith Cramer Blog


Wednesday 23 October 2013, at 2115
Position: 30° 13.0’’ N x 060° 39.9’ ’W
Heading of 140°
Weather: Wind SWxW force 4, Temperature of 28°C

Photo Caption 1: Zoe beginning her climb aloft
Photo Caption 2: A watch on the head rig enjoying the beautiful weather
(Kelsey, Mark C., Mark R., Ashley, Serena, Freeland, Emily, Will, Colleen)

Good evening folks back on shore! This is a post from your friendly B-Watch Crew, Daniel and Zoe! Today was an exciting day, as we made our first voyage up the foremast to the course yard. Though some found it terrifying, others found it exhilarating. Don’‘t worry though; we were safely harnessed throughout the entire adventure. To get to the course yard we mounted the shrouds which run from the rail to about halfway up the foremast. From there some ventured out onto the yard while others stayed near the platform, one
reaching for the end of the course yard.

Later this afternoon we deployed the ARGO float. It floats in the ocean moving up and down in the water column taking measurements about salinity and temperature and then transmitting the information back to Woods Hole via satellite. Everyone aboard signed it with their own little message before we deployed it overboard. There’s a squall approaching us from starboard right now so we need to go tend to the sails! Before we leave we have a haiku for you.

Climbing aloft now,
Open ocean all around
Continue southward

Daniel Zeller ‘15
Bowdoin

Zoe Psarouthakis ‘15’
Lawrence University

Oct

22

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

Climbing Aloft
Laundry at SEA

Tuesday 22 October 2013
Position: 31°16.5’N x 062°15.1’W
Heading: 140° PSC
Speed: 3 Kts
Sail Plan: Sailing under Stays’ls and a Single Reefed Main
Weather: Winds West Force 3 Seas 3 Ft from the SWxW

Photo Caption 1: Students from A Watch climbing aloft.
Photo Caption 2: Farley getting his now clean and dry clothes down from the line.

Today is Tuesday, but by now, all the days are running together into one long thing divided up into watches. I was on afternoon watch today, one of the long ones, and the physical stress of the day is now setting in as I’m winding down for the night. It’s so difficult to represent how hard this all is when you’re on shore; there’s almost no way one can prepare for the physical, mental and emotional stress put upon you day in and day out. I’m painting a pretty negative picture here, but don’t mistake me; this will be one of the most amazing experiences I’ll ever have, but it’s definitely no cake walk.

Afternoon watch stretches from 1300-1900 (1-7p) but is broken up by class from 1430-1600 (2:30-4p). Today, we learned better techniques for furling sails, practicing on the Jib Tops’l, Fisherman and Forestas’l. This meant going out into the headrig of the ship, clipping in, walking on the netting and seeing the blue ocean beneath you. When the wind picks up it can be terrifying, but for the most part, it’s exhilarating and I love it.

We’re nearing the end of Phase I here, entering Phase II Thursday night which means more responsibility and independence on the part of the student. But before we change phases and switch mates/scientists we are being trained to go aloft. Students in A watch were able to do this today as seen in the picture. It looks alarming but I assure you, they are safe.

It’s also the time in the trip where we are all starting to slowly run out of clean clothes to wear. During the day, laundry is strewn all across the ship and space and time is limited which can really put a kink in your plans. As the days go by, I learn more and more that time management is the number one skill being put to the test.

I would now like to take this time to send a little personal note to my husband, Gonzalo.

Zalo,
I miss you and baby dogs so much! Even though I’m having a great time on ship, you don’t even know how I’m counting the days until I can see you all again. My only solace is that I’ll be home in time for the holidays, which is just under one month away! I love you and I’ll make sure to contact you as soon as I can. Hope all is well sweetheart.
Love, Sage.

Sage
Oregon State University ‘14

Oct

21

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Monday 21 October 2013
Position: 32° 47.3’N x 062° 30.3’W
Heading: 195° PSC
Speed: 6 Kts, motorsailing at 1250 RPM’s under Stays’ls and a Single Reefed Main
Winds: West Force 2 Seas 2 Ft from the west

Photo Caption 1: Jamie Navigating her way around a Sextant
Photo Caption 2: Chuck showing off his fancy new birthday card

Hello folks back home,

Today was a good day here on the Cramer with lots of stuff happening all around the ship.  The biggest news of the day was that it was Chuck’s birthday.  So our afternoon snack was a cupcake mosaic of a squid, Chuck’s cephalopod of choice. There was also a card for him made by our First Scientist Maia complete with the poem: ‘Roses are red, the Sargasso is blue, the Trip South is a classic and so are you’.

Today we also continued to learn and practice more celestial navigation. The Quarterdeck was awash with Sextants as students and staff alike were shooting sun lines and trying to get the most accurate fix. Today’s class was also devoted to celestial navigation.  The students were taught how to precompute stars and find twilight as well as how to use H.O. 229; a set of tables that fills in the gaps that others miss.

This evening was the first night of the trip that the moon did not rise before it was fully dark so we finally got to see some stars, at least when the cloud cover broke.  No matter how many times I have seen the night sky on a clear moonless night out here it is always remarkable and is never dull.

I also want to say hello to my family, Especially Connor the newest addition to the Loftus/Fleming clan.  Kelly I hope you are getting some sleep.  Dad wish you could be out here, you would love it.  Mom, Maggie and Tosh see you
guys all soon and I hope you are enjoying the fall weather, its definitely not New England Fall weather here. Allison, I hope the fish aren’t flopping around too much love you and miss you all see you at Thanksgiving.

Ryan
3rd Mate

Oct

20

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Sunday October 20, 2013

Heading 140°T
Sailing 4 knots under the single reefed mains’‘l, mainstays’’l, and forestays’’l
The day has averaged around a Beaufort force 5, with cumulus clouds, at around 25°C

Photo captain 1: Kelsey, Marc R., and Mark C. playing music on the deck.

Today was the first real Sunday on the boat which for the students meant our first day without class. Watches carried on per usual and it was a great sailing day with lots of wind and very little clouds. Great sailing but pretty rocky with some high swells so some students experienced sick sickness again today as we continue to get used to the constant motion of rocking back and forth in the swells. I was also told today that we have sailed 500 nautical miles so far and the temperatures are already picking up a lot and I think we are getting close to the latitude line of Bermuda but we will be so far away we won’t see it at all.

During the regular class time period some students gathered on deck and jammed out. We have students that play the violin, banjo, guitar, and harmonica. In the science lab, we did our second hydrocast today which consisted of sending the carousel down on the hydrowinch wire and triggering bottles to close on the carousel at different depths to collect information on the sea water. Students also gathered on the quarterdeck today to continue practicing using the sextants to measure the sun’s angle to the horizon to help find our geographic position. We have a sextant assignment coming up and the GPS in the doghouse is currently covered up; we are now relying on the celestial navigation that we learned during the shore component to keep our positions accurate. A couple of mahi mahi were spotted today as well as some flying fish and we kept a line in the water all day in the hopes of catching something but to no avail.

Some students today also had a chance to work on their research projects. And all the students are still working hard to check off all the items they need to know before they can go aloft and climb the main mast or the fore mast. We are also approaching phase 2 in which the students are given more responsibility for ship and lab operations.

Hewson Shepherd
C Watch
Boston University ‘15

p.s Mom, hope you didn’’t find any spelling errors! Dad, Maggie, Sarah, Jessica, John, and Gabe miss you guys all so much! Can’t wait to see all of you guys soon! Thinking about you guys all the time. I’ll let you know how I’’m doing in Bequia!

Oct

19

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Saturday October 19, 2013

C/O 105Degrees
Cramers Speed going around 5 to 6 knots
Force 3 winds
Cloud Cover Cumulus
Temperature of 24-26 degree Celsius
Caption 1:One of the many beautiful sun sets we are able to watch every day!

Today on the SSV Corwith Cramer we had our first Field Day! We set aside our daily work to scrub the ship clean. The special treat is that we get to enjoy the music that has been missing from our stored away electronics. Along with cleaning the ship, the crew gets a good saltwater hose down and freshwater rinse! A joy when it’s hot and sweaty out.

On the non-cleaning side of things there was sightings of a military type warship, far off into the horizon (No worry there), a distant water spout ( for those of you that don’t know what this is
imagine far-off tornado-like swirls on the surface), and finally ending the day with a Moonbow, like a rainbow for the moon. Before this magical moonbow there was an orange beautiful moon rise, sadly I could not find a picture for you folks back on land, but it was magnificent and breathtaking, guess you all will have to travel to the middle of the ocean to treat yourself with one.

With all this happening around us, everyone seems to be able to take some time and enjoy the Atlantic while we are on it. We have finished our first week and though it has been crazy hectic and almost nonstop movement, we all get along and love it. We are able to set sails and stand watch, look out for each other, but also learn from each other. I doubt anybody here will ever forget what they learn but also how this will change them.

*A special shoutout for Aaron Rosenfield
“Happy 21st, Brother! Good luck finding the Kraken on your Paleontology Dig!”-Marc Rosenfield


Zoe Psaouthakis
Lawrence University 15’

Shoutout: Mom and Dad I hope all is well and im missin ya! Adam, I hope college has been amazing and cannot wait to hear more when I am back. Finally Claire, hope your adventure in Africa has been going just as well as my adventure here! Love you all!

Oct

17

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Thursday October 17, 2013
Sailing under Forestays’l and Mainstays’l
C/O 160°psc
Wind from WSW force 4
Seas from SE 4foot swells
Photo Caption 1: Miles, Will, Ashley and Farley enjoy some down time on the quarter deck
Photo Caption 2: A demonstration in class of deploying the neuston net

We have passed through the Gulf Stream; we are now in the Northern Sargasso Sea! It happened fairly quickly, with most of our journey happening overnight. The expected squalls were gentle enough to sleep through, for most of us, and now seas are expected to remain calm. It definitely has today, with soft and gentle swells.

Good News! Most of the crew have gotten over their seasickness! No longer are we bound to the leeward side of the ship, just curling up in a ball and waiting it out. I know I lost a few pounds! But now that we are healthy, we can science, and science we have! The net tows and meter nets are starting to show some variety, ranging from Copepods to Sargassum Shrimp. Today we even caught a baby triggerfish. In the next few days, we’re planning on starting our data sets for our Research Projects. I know that as soon as we start Vertical Meter Net Tows, I am going to be glued to a microscope counting Pteropods.

Even with the weather and science deployments, it is good to have some down time with my shipmates. On clear days there are students scattered about the deck, playing instruments, reading books, writing in journals, and simply looking out over the sea.

It is hard to believe that we are already close to ending our first week, I’m not sure if it’s the crazy watch schedule, or the astounding amount of adventure we’re having, but time is flying by!

Patrick Mooney
MC

Shoutout: Mom, Dad, Andrew, and of course Tabitha, I miss all of you so much! I am going to have so many stories to tell once I get home! And yes, Mom, I’m being safe! smile

Oct

16

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013.
Hove-to under backed stays’ls and mains’l.
Winds light, ESE. Seas smooth on top of 5-7ft rolling swells

Photo caption 1: Holy Mola! Photo by Hope Goodrich
From Wikipedia - “The ocean sunfish, Mola mola, or common mola, is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. It has an average adult weight of 1,000 kg (2,200 lb).”

Blue skies and bluer waves greet the lazy watch (so named for having the morning and afternoon off) as we crawl out of our bunks at 1000. The day is long when you start at 0300! We spent last night in and out of foulies, skittering around squalls East and West, and when it was this brave sailors chance to turn in, we left A watch with a low, looming and darkening night sky at 1900. Our long trial of yesterday and last night ends with a triumphant dawn over some stunning cumulonimbus clouds (that our brave mid-watchers happily dodged).

Spirits are high, bonds that were formed on the lee rail yesterday are made again, and the tumultuous images of shipmates 9th round forgiven and forgotten.

1620: We have reached a calm now, and are motor-sailing through, hoping to reach true winds by tomorrow, (no one knows how long our water will last if we are stuck here for too long). Class today was a blazing success, MC-ed by yours truly, with excellent demonstrations about the ship, her mysterious ‘Orlop’, and some fine Dolphin fan-fiction.

Squalls appear on the horizon as we near the Gulf Stream, which is often guarded by cantankerous thunder storms and raging currents that would break the spirit of lesser sailors, but we will win out! Fair seas await us on the other side.

Farley Miller
AB

Shout out: Casey-Can’t believe you are 25!! Sending love and no longer sea sickness from Jamie to you all, having the time of my life. Happy happy birthday.

Oct

15

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Tuesday 15 October 2013
Course: C/O 165psc
Sail Plan: Sailing under the four lowers
Weather: Wind E Force 5, Seas ENE 6-8ft, Air Temp: 21°C

Photo Caption One: Foamy Seas
Photo Caption Two: Hewson looking mighty salty as she mans the helm during a soggy afternoon watch.

“The ocean is a different medium from land; it’s fluid and whatever lives in it or on it must adapt accordingly.”

Our second full day underway and while a short time has passed, we are all adapting to life at sea. Whether we are seasoned mariners or newbies to Neptune’s club, the first few days always require some sort of adjustment or acquaintance to life on the ocean. Sporty conditions have not provided an easy initiation for some into the “club.” Although some are still struggling with the motion of the ocean, it will be a minor speed bump in the start of an exciting journey. 

This morning as B watch took the deck, there was enough wind for us to shut down the engine and sail away! While the seas are a bit choppy, there is a decent wind and has provided some great sailing today. B watch conducted our first morning science station, during which we deployed a Sechhi disk (used to measure light penetration through the water), Hydrocast (collects water samples at different depths and measures other parameters such as temperature and salinity), a meter net and a neuston tow. It was quite a busy morning and made a six hour watch fly by.

Last night, around 2200, we noticed that the air seemed much warmer than the previous hours. This also coincided with a five-degree increase in water temperature. Using our data from an instrument that calculates currents and satellite imagery, we think we are sailing through a warm core eddy, a pocket of water that spun off from the warm water of the Gulf Stream. Within the next 48 hours, we should be crossing the Gulf Stream and entering the Sargasso Sea.

With our sights and thoughts forward, we sail on towards warmer climates, hopefully calmer seas and high spirits. Looking forward to an exciting journey with a great group of people! Until next time..

Laura Hansen
2nd Assistant Scientist

P.S. Hi Mom, Dad, Kristy, Paul, Matt and the rest of my friends and family who are following the blog. I miss you already and hope you are doing well! Mom and Kristy have a great time in San Fran give Paul a hug for me! Mom- don’t forget to give Rockles his treats and stretchies!  Nook nook

Oct

14

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Monday October 14, 2013
Position: 40° 38’Nx070°31’W
C/O 164psc
Motor sailing at 1300 RPMs under the stays’ls and mains’l
Wind ESE Force 3, Swell from the SE 2-3’, Stratocumulus clouds, temp. 15°C

Photo Caption 1: Sage DeLuna works on her science research project in the lab
Photo Caption 2: Patrick Mooney examines his dip net catch, a ctenophore!

Annnd…, we are underway! Last night the C-249 crew stood watches at anchor to make sure that the ship and all of our shipmates could rest easy. The newest crew members were introduced to anchor bearings, being awoken for watch in the middle of the night and got an opportunity to practice their boat checks and weather observations. This morning C Watch got 0600 wake ups for a 0620 breakfast of scrambled eggs, hash and bacon. After breakfast C watch took the deck and prepared to get us underway. Once the anchor was hauled back we set the mainstays’l and the forestays’l and started making our way out of Vineyard Sound out into the continental shelf waters. As we exited the sound the seas got a little bigger and some faces began to look a little greener.

With a new motion folks started feeling a little queasy, but those clipped into the leeward rail were being well taken care of by their fellow watch mates. At 1430 we had our first ship’s meeting. The entire crew meets once a day to hear announcements, reports in science, weather and navigation and a class topic in either nautical since or oceanography. Today Chief Scientist Chuck, and Captain Jason talked about the academic program while out at sea and the Assistant Scientist team demonstrated how to deploy a neuston net. Hopefully we will have our first science station tonight! At the end of a chilly afternoon watch A watch was greeted by many common dolphins and a beautiful sunset. 

Maia
1st Scientist

Oct

13

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

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Sunday October 13, 2013
Anchored in Menemsha Bight, Martha’s Vineyard
Light easterly winds and calm seas, cumulus cloud cover and air temperature 14̊C

Photo Caption 1: Black and white photo of the main stays’l

Photo Caption 2: Gimbaled tables in the main saloon

Class C-249 on the Corwith Cramer is off and sailing! Many well-wishers came down to Dyers Dock in Woods Hole today to send us off. We spent last night on the dock there beginning to orientate ourselves to our shipboard community and the feel of our new home. Over the course of last night and this morning, students completed orientation in the doghouse, lab safety, wire deployment, engine room, galley, line handling, and boat check. By the time we left the dock they had been able to explore every part of their new home! It was a beautiful downwind sail under the main stays’l, fore stays’l and the tops’l to our anchorage for the night. While sailing everyone had a chance to see our gimbaled tables in action as we had lunch underway, help with sail setting and striking and enjoy a beautiful day on the water. At anchor this afternoon, we spent a few hours learning the importance of the ships station bill, which describes every crew members duty in the event of an emergency.! We even used some of the time to run through a series of drills to practice these duties, including launching the rescue boat, manning the fire hoses, securing ventilation and handling sail to name a few.

After a long 36 hours of orientation and transiting, the crew has just finished enjoying another of the fabulous meals put out by our steward, Jamie. The homemade rolls tonight with honey butter we amazing! Despite the cold many came on deck to see a beautiful sunset and several others are in heated games of cribbage as I write this.
From the newly formed crew of C-249, sweet dreams and good night!

Colleen Allard
Chief Mate

Oct

08

C-249 - Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA

Tuesday, 08 October 2013

The students of C-249, Ocean Exploration: Plastics @ SEA, are scheduled to depart Woods Hole on Saturday, aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer. They will finish their voyage in St. Croix around Tuesday, November 19th.