SEA CurrentsCatch up on news, events, and daily posts from SEA Semester voyages in SEA Currents, the official blog of Sea Education Association.
I haven’t written anything in this blog yet. It’s not for lack of content; our trip has been a fantastic opportunity with much to write home about, and some things I don’t think should ever leave the knowledge of the 21 students. I guess I wasn’t really inspired to write anything. Today, after we left Rarotonga last night and I was able to reconnect with the outside world, I think I found something to ponder and put to paper.
Despite its bad reputation among the student crew, dawn watch has provided me with some of my best memories on board. Most of these memories have come after I learned that a cup of coffee makes the 0100-0700 block significantly easier. During my second dawn watch en route to Ile Maria, my mind had some time to wander while I was scanning the horizon at the bow. The ship swaying beneath my feet, I realized, is not unlike horses or fire.
Congratulations to SEA alum and marine biologist Mike Gil for being selected as a TED Fellow. He’ll join a class of 21 change-makers from around the world to deliver a talk this August from the TEDGlobal stage in Arusha, Tanzania.
A National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California, Davis, Mike studies human impact on marine ecosystems, and how social interactions among fish that eat harmful algae can counteract coral reef degradation.
As a science communicator, Mike started a science appreciation campaign. He creates videos and gives talks which he says are designed to “reveal the lesser-known side of science: an adventure, accessible to all….”
It was a wonderful last full day in NYC as we got to explore behind-the-scenes of the New York Aquarium on Coney Island. After meeting with Dr. Merry Camhi, director of the New York Seascape project, and sharing research and observations from our survey of the Hudson Canyon, we headed off on a tour of the upcoming shark exhibit’s construction site. We looked pretty sharp and safe in our hard hats and reflective vests.
Inexpresable. If I could describe today in one word, it would be inexpresable. Our day was filled with realizations and puffy eyes as we navigated through the busy waters of New York City harbor. Realizations that today was our last day underway aboard the Corwith Cramer, that these could be our last sweats on the braces, our final sail firls, dawn watch, lookout and helm time. It was with a sense of accomplishment, excitement, and sadness that we docked at 0800 in Brookline Harbor, knowing that this was not a port stop, that we would be departing with all of our things in less than two days.
This morning on dawn watch, I left the lab to help set a sail and noticed a glowing light rise gently above the horizon, just off the starboard bow of the ship, in the northwest. I glanced at my watch, which read 04:15. The light was in the wrong direction and a bit early for sunrise, especially as we move into Southern Hemisphere autumn. It was land.
This morning I woke up after a full(er) night of sleep and could feel a slight ache in every muscle in my body. Every action we do on the ship has our bodies working, whether it’s walking across the deck or even sitting to read. After a week though our bodies feel stronger and our balance is better.
If you had told me a year ago that I’d be spending this morning standing at the helm of a tall ship sailing towards New York, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Even if I had, I would have been very confused by the route my life had taken.
And yet, here I am. We’ll be pulling into New York about half a day from now. While we still have not sighted land, the signs of it approaching are gradually building-from the slight glow of the far off lights on evening watch Saturday to the more frequent crackling of the radio from the doghouse as I settle in to sleep underneath it.
Stanford@SEA 2017 is on the move once again. At 2213 Friday evening, after 38 hours at anchor to the lee of Isle Maria, the ship’s company hoisted the Bobby C.‘s anchor and got underway for our next stop - Rarotonga!
The weather is cooperating. We are finally being pushed by the west-blowing trade winds predicted for this voyage, and our estimated time of arrival to Rarotonga is 0900 Monday morning.
What a day on the Cramer! This is about to be a long blog, but I deemed it necessary to try to capture all that this day had to offer, so stick with me. Though every day has its excitement here on board, today was something to remember. We spent the day in the Hudson Canyon, the largest submarine canyon along the US Atlantic Coast, rivaling the depth and scale of the Grand Canyon, just southeast of New York City.
We got the opportunity to participate in the New York Seascape program, a program working to connect New York residents to their nearby ocean.