SEA CurrentsCatch up on news, events, and daily posts from SEA Semester voyages in SEA Currents, the official blog of Sea Education Association.
We’re thrilled to once again join with Sailors for the Sea, a leading ocean conservation organization, for our “Onboard Reporter” program.
This is a special partnership that began last year. Each term, one SEA Semester student is designated as Sailors for Sea’s “Onboard Reporter,” and receives a $1,500 award.
This spring, the Onboard Reporter is Anna Brodmerkel, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Anna is currently sailing aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer as a member of C-273, Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (known around here as MBC).
If you’ve followed along with the C-273 voyage thus far, or have at least read Yage’s post from yesterday, then you might know that the Cramer ran into a bit of rain last night. While Yage was fast asleep in bed, I was on evening watch (1900-0100). Today, the B Watch mate, Finn, told us a tall tale about past work on ships, which is the inspiration for this blog post. In Finn’s words, last night “Could have been worse.”
Hello world! To you, it’s Day 26 of our ocean voyage…but our watch rotations make for 18-hour days, so today feels more like Day 35 for us. It’s been one crazy rollercoaster ride having weathered out the effects of two cyclones but thankfully, the weather has finally steadied up a bit and both air and water temperatures are on the rise as we go farther north. Also, we broke 3000 nm today and are currently within 150 nm to the island of Raivavae!!!
Don’t shower – you will literally be salty head to toe from sea spray, along with your sweat from hauling on lines day in and day out.
But actually, have you been wondering what it would take to be a sailor aboard the Seamans? This is a (short) cheat sheet from what I’ve learned so far, mostly in order of importance:
Expect the unexpected. This is by far the most important tip I have! I’ve been surprised at every turn. It pays to be ready at all times, whether it be for a fire drill where you have to head to your assigned station and wait for orders, for a swell that’ll knock you off of your feet, or for when things don’t go quite as planned.
今天可能是在克雷姆（Cramer 船名）上最不平稳的一天了。凌晨的岗位（1:00-7:00）一直在用引擎来帮助前行。当我们上午的岗位（7:00-13:00）快结束 时，天空下起了小雨。我换下班来，吃完了美味的午餐，chili 和corn bread （各种 豆子做的汤和玉米面包），立刻钻进了我的床上，享受我凌晨岗位前的12个小时。
I haven’t seen land in 23 days. What a wide, wonderful, watery world it is out there, surrounded by nothing but the ocean, and the ship carrying you across the waves. Of course, on this boat you’re surrounded by more than just the ocean: and no, I’m not talking about the sky and I won’t be waxing eloquent on the majesty of the stars at night, though they are brilliant.
So what am I surrounded by then? If not the ocean or sky or stars?
My SHIPMATES. I am surrounded, day in and day out, by a boatload of salts, jokers, and eccentrics who make my 134.5 foot world go round. You can see how comfortable we’ve all gotten around each other; this photo was taken after parading around our boat screaming “Science!! Science!!” at the top of our lungs for March for Science today, on Earth day. Almost inevitably we wind up learning as much about each other as we do about sail handling or our research projects. Other people, when living in such a tight knit community, are fascinating. How they relate to each other, what their quirks are, what makes them tick. And: what makes them happy.
Today we deep-cleaned the Cramer! Instead of having class in the afternoon, we split into watches and cleaned the whole below decks area. A Watch took the Galley, B watch took the Main Salon, and C watch took the aft cabins. We clean the Cramer thoroughly every day, because grime magically appears even when we’re at sea, but today we stepped it up a notch and got everything we might have missed during the week.
After spending a few hours feeling nauseous at every trip below decks yesterday, it is amazing that I was able to spend most of my 6 hour watch as the dish assistant today in the galley! It feels great to (hopefully) be acquiring some sea legs, of course attributing most credit to medicine, a full belly, and a hydrated body. As a “newbie” aboard the Cramer, the crew is nothing but kind and positive.
The S-272 crew has found themselves in the remnants of yet another significant weather system. This time Tropical Cycle Cook detoured from the shores of New Zealand, its original track, and skirted further west as we continued our journey north.
Although the same intense winds, rain, and sea conditions were present just as with Cyclone Debbie, the thought of facing this weather seemed less daunting. Our three weeks spent on the Robert C. Seamans has conditioned us to expect the unexpected, and with more responsibility being placed on us each day, we all faced the weather with a new confidence I don’t think we had just two weeks ago.
Hello dedicated blog readers,
It has been a little over twenty four hours since we got underway, and what an exciting time it has been! We’ve set and struck sails, experienced at least three of the ship’s ranges of motion, felt queasy, taken more anti-seasickness medication, deployed our first Neuston tow, and made it through the first of what will be many watches to come.
The students are all enthusiastic and eager to experience everything that the ship has to offer, from cleaning dishes in the galley to watching dolphins interrupt yet another afternoon class. This is not my first time on the ship, but it is my first time not standing a watch. I have become what they call an “other” (someone who does not have a rigid schedule the way most other people on board do), and I find myself thinking more so on this trip than past adventures about what it was like to experience everything for the first time.