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Voyages

SSV Corwith Cramer Blog

Position information is updated on a workday basis only. Use the controls on the map to zoom out if map is too close for imagery to be shown.

Jan

15

C-250a Ithaca

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Wednesday 15 January 2014
Position: 18° 27.3’‘N x 65° 29.7’’W
Heading: 330°
Speed: 4.6 knots
Weather: Sunny clear skies, (and the wind is on our side!)

Image caption: Birthday girl, Teresa, celebrating by contemplating her jump off the bowsprit.

Life Watch here (Tracee, Teresa, Katrina, Emily, and Ahono)! We’re feeling a bit nostalgic as today is our last full day sailing in the beautiful weather, but also excited to see our families (and dry land). This morning began with hard work and fun. For every week on an SEA trip, there’‘s a massive all-hands ship cleaning expedition called Field Day, accompanied by music and snacks. It felt good to give back to Mama Cramer after all she’‘s given us on our voyage. We also welcomed some guests aboard- Mary Ann and some of the students from Culebra that are interested in conservation. They got a tour of the ship, and learned about the science we conducted on our trip. After our guests left, the crew surprised us with an opportunity to jump off the bowsprit (the furthest forward part of the ship) and cool off for a swim in the Culebra Harbor. It was a lot of fun and an awesome break from all the cleaning we had to do this morning. Soon after swimming we set sail and began our much shorter journey back to San Juan. Life Watch was on break for the afternoon and spent our free time on the deck.

Teresa sketched a picture of the surrounding islands and was surprised by the galley with cupcakes for her 20TH BIRTHDAY!! The entire crew joined in a lovely rendition of happy birthday. The cupcakes were delicious. After that yummy snack each watch began the presentations we had been working on. Earth watch presented sediment analysis and other earth related topics. Water watch presented data that was obtained by many of our deployments that had to do with water trends. Our watch presented about LIFE (obviously), we spoke about the organisms we found in Neuston Tows and organisms observed in the ocean and on Culebra. We are expected to arrive in San Juan tomorrow morning. We will most likely spend our last bit of time exploring old San Juan.

We’‘d like to give a shout out to the crew of Cramer, Neptune, our Captain Beth, Amy and the science crew (especially Abby who is our favorite Labby), Rocky (our fearless leader), our deckhand Kate (who was helpful in times of need), our lovely faculty members Susan, Peter, Luke, and Chris, Jenny and Nina for delicious meals, and our parents for their support. THANK YOU!

Jan

13

C-250a Ithaca

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Monday, 13 January 2014
Position: 18° 18.21’‘N x 65° 17.67’W
Location: Anchored at Culebra
Weather: Sunny and clear skies

Image caption:  We made it to Culebra!

Water Watch here! We took the deck from a very soaked Earth watch, who dealt with many squalls (rainstorms) last night. But the weather gods must like us better because the skies opened up to a beautiful morning as we made our way closer to Culebra. In lab, we measured phosphate and nitrate levels from our ocean water samples taken earlier in our trip.  As our morning progressed, more of the crew’s attention was focused on navigating through the rocky coast of Culebra and the reef that surrounds the harbor. Peter even saw our first sea turtle of the trip, while passing the reef. We took down all the sails as we approached the harbor relying on the main engine to propel us in. We arrived in Culebra ahead of schedule at 11:00am!!!! We set anchor astern of a very large yacht and it soon became apparent that they were drifting. Now we have to keep a constant eye on the yacht and take anchor bearings throughout the night to ensure that our vessel isn’t dragging. 

Tonight, we are having an all hands BBQ on deck with a very special guest, Mary Ann Lucking, Director of Coralation. When we go ashore tomorrow, we will be working with Mary Ann and her organization to learn about reef systems and reef conservation. In addition, we will be looking at plastic distributions on Zoni Beach and Tamarindo Beach.

SHOUT OUT!! Happy Birthday to Jennifer’’s Dad!!!

Jan

12

C-250a Ithaca

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Sunday, 12 January 2014
Position: 18° 29.51’ ’N x 65° 36.12’W
Heading: 024°
Speed: 4.4 knots
Weather: clear and sunny

Image caption: Shrunken cups!

Life(of the Party) Watch started off the day with morning watch from 7AM-1PM. Our watch began with squalls but shortly after taking the deck, not one but two rainbows appeared. Our fourth day of traveling on the Atlantic was extremely busy. In Lab, on deck, and in the galley, we were constantly shuffling around and doing new things. On the lab front, today Katrina and Ahono deployed the CTD (Conductivity Temperature and Depth) to 1000 meters, which is the deepest deployment to date on this voyage! We also did something we like to call a Styrocast, where we deployed self-decorated Styrofoam cups (secured in pantyhose) attached to the wire with the CTD. The pressure at that depth compacted the cups into mini cups, which now we can use as mementos. In lab, we also deployed the Neuston Net Tow, picking up many plankton, small fish, and plants, which we then separated. Meanwhile on deck, Teresa and Traci were at the helm steering the boat. Teresa, Ahono, and Emily also ventured out onto the bowsprit to unfurl the Jib Tops’l.

The excitement continued when our professor Peter caught a sizable Mahi-Mahi off the stern of the boat. So thank you to Peter and the galley for supplying and preparing a wonderful Mahi-Mahi dinner. Finally, during our class meeting, we had a friendly competition of a line race between the watches, where the crew sent us against one another to find certain lines on the boat. We came in second, but we gave it the ole college try. We are all anxiously looking forward to getting to Culebra tomorrow, where we should get around 3:00 PM!

Abby would like to wish her mother a happy birthday today!

Jan

11

C-250a Ithaca

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Saturday, 11 January 2014, 1650
Position: 18° 42.3’’ N x 65° 43.7’’ W
Heading: 160°
Speed: 4.5 knots
Weather: Clear, sunny skies

Image caption: SCIENCE!!  Deploying the Carousel.

We have been out at sea for a little over 48 hours, and thankfully, it seems as though many have finally gotten their sea legs and gotten a hang of the watch schedule. Over the past couple of days, we have had a few patches of rough sailing through some intense weather.  In fact, this morning a few people and I were soaked belly deep in water when we went out onto the headrig in order to tie down the Jib. However, at the moment the sky is clear, the sea is (relatively) smooth, we are making great headway towards Culebra, and those who got soaked are all dry.  Though we have travelled approximately 130 nautical miles, we are actually only 17.5 nautical miles away from where we started.  Since the wind is coming from the East, which is the direction we have to travel, we had to take a more roundabout route, first going North, and then sailing Southeast to get around Puerto Rico. 

With all of the distance we travelled, though, we had a lot of time to learn more about the ship.  In fact, tomorrow we will be having a “friendly competition” between the three watches about the various lines of the ship, so today we reviewed all of them.  We’’ve also made progress with the scientific aspects of our trip.  We have done multiple Neuston net tows in order to get a survey of the various communities. We have found many interesting little critters in our tows, from zooplankton to a baby marlin. Today, we deployed the Carousel to obtain water samples so we could get a sense of the nutrient, oxygen, and chlorophyll A contents at different depths.  The process took a lot of work, but now that everyone has a grasp of what goes on, we are all working as a unit, getting things done well and efficiently. 

As we get closer to Culebra, there shall be much more to come.  Everyone seems to be having a great time, and I cannot wait to see what will come in the next few days, so keep reading the blog to see what happens!!

Eric Surette, C Watch

Jan

10

C-250a Ithaca

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Friday, 10 January 2014, 1900
Position: 19° 32’’N x 066°12’’W
Location: over the Puerto Rico Trench
Heading, speed, weather: Full and By, 150° PSC , easterly trade winds force 4

Image caption: Teamwork is key! We all work together to haul the mainsail halyard.

This is Sawyer and Michael of Watch A: Life, reporting out. We’‘ve been at sea for a few more than twenty-four hours now, although considering the amount of new information and experience that our brains have had to wrestle with in that time, it feels like it’s been at least a few days. I’‘m amazed at how quickly I’‘ve gotten accustomed to some of the seeming absurdities inevitable in life on a boat that is constantly shifting and tipping with the waves of the great blueness that surrounds us. For example, the tables are designed in such a way that they can roll to counteract the motion of the boat, so that plates and cups which seem like they should be spilling out onto our laps sit calmly on the tables at odd angles, undisturbed. Out on deck, you can feel the wind and see the waves that are the precursors of the boat’s movements. Below, there is no sensory clue to why the world around you is constantly shifting. But the human body is a wondrously adaptable thing, and although there have been quite a few cases of seasickness, we’‘ve all managed to get some sleep.

-Sawyer and Michael

Jan

09

C-250a Ithaca

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Thursday, 09 January 2014
Position: 18° 59’ 50.40” N x 66° 07’ 04.80” W
Location: 5 Nautical Miles North of Puerto Rico
Heading & speed:  NxE, 5 Knots
Weather: Sunny and warm

Image caption: Sailing off the dock!

Today, we finally set sail from San Juan, Puerto Rico.

We started our morning with the boat still at the dock. We left the dock and anchored in the bay to further work on our training, which we began yesterday. One of the first tasks that we had today was Emergency training. Being assigned to Watch B: Life with Second Mate Rocky, our main task during emergency drills for both Man Over Board (MOB) and Fire Drill is sail handling. Sail handling deals with the function and movement of the boat, and this is ultimately what we are responsible for, in event of an emergency. Seeing that this is an Emergency Drill, I’m sure our parents would be happy to see that we were taking safety seriously! During an emergency, while we control the movement of the Corwith Cramer, the other two watches are assessing the emergency or doing damage control.

We have already learned that there is more to boarding this boat than just gaining our sea legs. With this new journey comes a whole new language of sailing, and there is a lot of orientation that has been done and remains to be done, and of course, a lot of learning.

Several exciting things happened for us today. It was great to see the sails up after the discussion and theory that had gone on beforehand, and it was satisfying to set the sail knowing you had taken part in that. Not just once, but twice today we sailed off something without assistance from the main engine, much to Captain Beth’s excitement. The first time was off the dock and the second was off the hook. We have learned how to haul a sail, and Katrina even traveled out onto the headrig to loosen the jib. On another note, today we did our first deployment for sediment research, manning equipment including a hydrowinch in the process, and later digging through the collected sediment and saving it in jars for future analysis. All this being said, it is really just great to look out and enjoy just how blue the ocean is, and feel the sunshine coming down on us. We’re really not in Ithaca anymore!

Jan

08

C-250a Ithaca

Wednesday, 08 January 2014

Greetings from San Juan, Puerto Rico! All faculty and students from Ithaca College have joined the good ship, Corwith Cramer. Weather is beautiful. Wind is steady. Wish you all were here! We’ll be outbound San Juan tomorrow and we’ll be making our way to the east. 

Until tomorrow!
Captain Beth

Jan

08

C-250a Ithaca

Wednesday 08 January 2014

C-250A, Ithaca, will the SSV Corwith Cramer today in San Juan, Puerto Rico and return to San Juan around Thursday January 14th.