SEA Currents: Feb 2017
As a photographer, I try capturing what I think is beautiful in my pictures. I’ve been lucky enough to photograph amazing places such as the deserts of Arizona to the snowy peaks of Niseko, Japan. At these amazing places, I’ve always been able to capture beautiful moments in some way. A waterfall. A sunrise. The milky way. The possibilities are endless. Coming on the Robert C. Seamans, I thought that I would be able share the beautiful moments on board with photography.
So far, I have had the joy of having a few hours at the helm of the ship. It is a powerful moment in my general watch duties because it gives me the power of navigation; the ability to take our vessel to where ever we may desire. With this power comes some of the boats eccentricities. The steering is not as smooth as one might expect.
As we prepared to raise the anchor, C watch (my watch) began the sea watch structure of six hours on, 12 hours off by waking up from an interrupted night of sleep at 0600. Kate P. and Sabrina crushed the first meal, starting off the day with scrambled eggs, potatoes with onions and peppers, and bacon. Watch began at 0700 on deck with Austin, Anna J, 3rd mate Eric, and myself scrubbing the decks with freshwater.
I could hardly believe it when Jeff reminded me that today – Friday – was my turn to write this blog. It’s hard to believe we’ve already been sailing for that many days. In my mind, all of the hours of the past few days have blurred together into one very, very long day, broken up by very satisfying naps. However, the passage of time is very evident not only by our movement through the clear blue Caribbean waters, but by the weathering skin and tired eyes of all of those aboard Mama Cramer.
The day began at 0630, Kate’s soft voice floated through the beige curtains that surrounded my bunk as she woke Peyten down the hall. I peeked my head out peering around, eyes clouded with the last remnants of sleep. “Good morning, breakfast is in fifteen minutes and it’s raining” was the message being spread to those of us who had just awoken. I ducked back into my bunk, dressed and walked down to the salon for piles of pancakes, sausages, and grapefruit.
Sunrise at sea. A patchwork of cumulous clouds drape across the sky, infused with early morning color. Off in the distance, land, a new island for us, from the chart I learn it is Saba Island – part of the Dutch Antilles.
Long, deep swells gently roll in from the north reminding us, ever so subtly, that the sea sometimes can be angry and may one day be so for us. For now however, we can be thankful for the comfortable seas.
Yuck…it’s 0520. I’m on watch…meaning I have to meander around the boat and jot down numbers, expected to be fully awake while in realtity, there was only one eye open and two yawns for every footstep. However, the job was done in an orderly fashion (twice) and everyone, including our mascot, Steve, our cat (we don’t really have a cat) was safe.
Clare McClellan ’18 was determined to find “something completely different” for her junior-year-abroad experience. She found what she was looking for on a 134-foot Brigantine sailing ship in the South Pacific, studying climate change and Polynesian ecosystems and culture.
McClellan joined 25 other undergraduates from throughout the country on a 2,300-mile voyage from Samoa to New Zealand aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans, under the auspices of the Sea Education Association, an environmental education and research organization based in Woods Hole, MA.
McClellan, an Environmental Studies major from Portland, OR, began her studies last August at SEA headquarters in Woods Hole, where she and her classmates took courses in oceanography, Polynesian history, and seamanship. McClellan also did some preliminary work on two topics for her individual research projects, one on coastal protection measures in Tonga as a result of sea level rise and a second on environmental education in Tonga.
Read the FULL STORY
“Shem, it’s Cassie, its 6:15, breakfast is in 30 minutes” I heard through the white curtains of my bunk. In a sleepy haze I emerged and met eyes with Christina across from me looking equally as disoriented. We prepped for the day and met everyone in the salon while hot plates and steaming dishes assembled neatly on the table. Sabrina, our steward, cooked us veggie frittatas with a side of sausage and pineapple. Coffee in hand I sat to a delicious breakfast, listening as we all remarked on adjustments to our new sleeping conditions and excitement for the day.
The sea voyage for program C-271, Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean, has now officially begun. Thirteen students from nine different American colleges and universities are now appropriately oriented to their new mobile home, the Corwith Cramer, and they all took part in the casting off of dock lines that got the ship moving out of our berth in Gallows Bay and into the Caribbean Sea. Spirits were high and there was plenty of good, hard work done by all to get our sails set and the ship properly ordered for the first leg of this voyage.