SEA Currents: Nov 2014
Today began with the excitement of heading back out to the open ocean! We enjoyed a regular night of sleep last evening, a precursor to the sometimes odd hours of the watch schedule we enjoy at sea. After breakfast, we completed the usual morning duties (cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning), then heard the call of, “all hands muster on the quarterdeck!” This call may indicate several things: meeting, class, field trip, or in this case, imminent departure.
Before leaving for my voyage aboard the Cramer I was told by my father and mother, both seasoned sailors, that on a trip like this my mind would find time to wander to topics that I didn’t know existed. I was told that long sailing trips have the ability to “change you”. Goodness were they right! While up on bow watch on dark nights, calm nights, raging nights, and long nights I have had time to think about a plethora of topics, among which include: college, careers, 90’s songs, cloud watching, star gazing, ranting, philosophizing, and my personal favorite, singing loudly and obnoxiously into the wind because there is no one around to hear you.
Locals joke “You can’t beat Wellington on a nice day!”
It’s truly a beautiful and fun place on such a day… you just rarely get a “nice day” in Wellington. Lucky for us, today was just such a day! On the agenda today for crew: prepare the ship for public viewing onboard in the afternoon; for students: work on the ever-present assignments, soak up some sun, and visit the national museum of New Zealand known as Te Papa.
Never fear folks, we here on the Corwith Cramer do in fact celebrate holidays such as Thanksgiving, we just maybe don’t celebrate them on the traditional date. Yet when we do decide to have a holiday, we do it in style. Everybody put on their finest and cleanest cloths, even those of us standing watch decided to do so in handsome dresses and beautiful shirts (occasionally accompanied by foul weather gear as the squalls flowed in and out).
Be assured though, we do know what day and time it is out here at 21° 20.2’N X 041° 01.1’W, we simply have the ability to alter the calendar and have Local Apparent Thanksgiving not on Thanksgiving Day.
Hello to all the readers of the C256 blog! This is Nick Dragone, one of the two visiting scientists on this= transatlantic crossing. I am onboard to work on a collaborative project studying the microbial communities living on marine plastic debris. After reading this blog post, I hope you will understand a little more about the collaborative ship-wide effort that is required every day to perform the research that I, Annie (my fellow visiting scientist), the students, and the faculty are conducting onboard.
Today began differently for the SEA student by the name of Kate Hruby. Instead of waking up, questioning the port agenda for the day, enjoying breakfast, cleaning the ship, and then heading to town like the rest of the students, she oh-so-bravely decided to take on not only the hose, bucket, and soap… but also the most feared nemesis of them all: dirty laundry.
Pre-breakfast, I waddled up on deck with the enemy at arm’s length. I made it through the first battles of socks and t-shirts with almost no problems, even stopping mid bacteria-wounding to wield the “ship, shipmate, self” mantra and do a deck wash.
Today, as our taffrail log passed the 1530 nautical mile mark, we reached the island of Dominica, our first port stop! Just kidding, we still have over 1400 miles to go, but today was just as exciting as any port stop. Though today is American Thanksgiving in the real world, here on the boat we’ll be having “Local Apparent Thanksgiving” on Saturday, so for us aboard the Cramer, today was just a normal day.
Happy Thanksgiving from the Robert C. Seamans!
Today was a very busy day for the students of S256. We started the day with breakfast on the ship. We had our normal ship cleaning responsibilities (heads, soles (floors), deck wash and galley cleaning) after breakfast. Shortly thereafter, we made our way to the Museum of Wellington City & Sea. There we met with two local historians. The first gave us a very interesting presentation on Maori migration to New Zealand.
Life is busy as always onboard the Cramer! Today, we officially enter Phase Two of our program onboard. This means that mates and scientists rotate watches, giving each watch a fresh new perspective and an opportunity to learn. Similarly, we students will begin shadowing our mates and scientists while on watch to learn the reasons why certain decisions are made, and overall, how to lead each watch’s activities. I am definitely looking forward to being able to rely on the information and knowledge that I have developed during my short time onboard, and direct that new-found knowledge into preparing for the Junior Watch Officer phase.
After following our blog for the last week, you may be wondering why there’s an icon of an “XX” running nearly parallel to the SSV Corwith Cramer cruise track. This is, in fact, another science research voyage, eXXpedition, sailing across the Atlantic to Martinique, and on a very similar cruise track to the Corwith Cramer The Sea Dragon is a 72ft steel hulled sailing vessel built in the UK in 2000. She is one of 11 yachts built for the Global Challenge Race – one of the longest, most demanding ocean voyages ever made. Now run by Pangaea Explorations to carry out scientific research, the Sea Dragon has a crew of 14 female scientists, sailors, and conservationists onboard, on a mission to understand in more detail how environmental and specifically ocean toxins affect women’s health.