SEA Currents: The Global Ocean: New Zealand
“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon for each day to have a new and different sun.” –Jon Krakauer
Where do I even begin? It’s crazy to think that this is our last week aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer. It is truly bittersweet.
To set the scene of a dawn watch not long ago: Still foggy from my 00:30 wakeup, I rolled out of my bunk, made a mug of tea, and ascended the ladder through the dog house to read night orders, familiarize myself with the deck, and receive turnover information from the off-going watch. Directed to take the lookout position, I walked forward to the bow to relieve Mercer, who was looking out and singing “Lean on Me.” I joined him for a chorus, then as he left I situated myself between the rail and the forestay, and I began to watch.
Today the eager students of S-276 boarded the Student Sailing Vessel Robert C. Seamans docked in busy downtown Auckland, New Zealand. Welcomed by equally enthusiastic staff and faculty, the students stowed their bags, made their bunks, and began their lives as crew and members of this sea-going learning community.
The students of S-276, The Global Ocean, will join the SSV Robert C. Seamans in Auckland, New Zealand by November 11th. They will return to Auckland around December 21st, after port stops in Russell and Napier, as well as a trip to the Kermadec Islands.
Out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Domino’s pizza delivery does not exist. Thinking of civilization back on land is weird. The concept of green pine trees lurk into my mind and then the reminder that I very well may be greeted with snow when I return stuns me, forgetting that was still a thing. As I stand bow-watch and gaze into the dark twilight of the night, I try to recall my life before this. No routine, no set schedule, no meal times, no daily clean/field days and no wake ups.
I could tell you your life is fine the way it is. I could tell you the niche you’ve found for yourself within society is all you need. The sounds of the city, suburbia, and the chatter you hear at work every day is enough. I could tell you these things but then I would be a liar. It is a fool’s errand to attempt a description worthy of life at sea.
Change is in the air. Whether our crew knows it or not, they have come a long way from Woods Hole and I am not counting the sea miles. I see it in our crew everyday as they begin stepping up to the plate. I remember their green faces as we set out around Martha’s Vineyard and powered south to get past the Gulf Stream. Every face expressed the same perplexed look during those first few days of remaining hove-to; “is it ALWAYS like this” as the ship pitched to and fro!
Alex Cormack from SUNY ESF describes week 5 of the shore component for Caribbean Reef Expedition, with a focus on her upcoming research project on Caribbean Coral Reef species composition.
Hello everyone! Today was a special day. During the night while most of the ship was sleeping and only the dawn watch was up we moved from the south Sargasso Sea to the transition zone. The transition zone is in between the south Sargasso sea and the Tropics. That means that we moved one step closer to our destination, Grenada. As we are moving south the weather is getting hotter and hotter. On deck the sun is burning especially for morning and afternoon watch but when it’s windy you can’t feel the heat.
SEA Semester Alumna in the News
“Many of Florida’s Sea Turtle Nests Were Destroyed by Hurricane Irma”
By Karen Weintraub, The New York Times
SEA Semester alumna Kate Mansfield, C-109, sea turtle biologist and professor at University of Central Florida, was recently featured in a story in The New York Times.
In addition to wiping out homes and businesses, Hurricane Irma swept away a large number of sea turtle nests as it tore across Florida last month.
The state is a center of sea turtle nesting, and this year was developing into a very encouraging year for the endangered leatherback turtles, the threatened loggerheads and green turtles, said Kate Mansfield, a marine scientist and sea turtle biologist at the University of Central Florida. The hurricane suddenly dashed those hopes.