SEA Currents: The Global Ocean: New Zealand
Greetings! Today was another beautiful day aboard the Corwith Cramer, it was partly cloudy but you could still feel the effects of the powerful sun, a sun hat and sunscreen were a good precaution to take. Today is a day that makes you happy to be alive and incredibly grateful to be doing what we are. You can’t help but marvel at the vastness of the ocean and the magnitude of creatures and critters small and large that lurk beneath the surface.
Welcome to the tropics! On this fifth of November the Cramer and her crew crossed the Tropic of Cancer, this invisible line circling the globe at 23° 30’ N. This event (celebrated by as many aloha shirts as I could encourage people to wear) was one I was looking forward to for some time, and this for a few reasons.
Ahoy readers of the Cramer blog,
Today was another Field day. That means that we all had a chance to scrub, shine, wipe, sweep, and swiff! There was plenty of grit and grime (Mung) to keep us busy for a couple of hours! Cookware came out of the Galley for a good scrubbin’, settee cushions up to the deck for a shinin’, overheads and bulkheads wiped, Soles swept n’ swiffered!
Greetings from the SSV Corwith Cramer Steward Assistant,
Today might be an ordinary day for everyone, but I feel quite special because I am the Steward, which means I can take a break from my sailing training and any other on deck duties. There is more night sleeping time for the Steward’s Assistant because usually for dawn watch everyone needs to wake up at 12:30am while the Steward Assistant can sleep until 4am.
After a great night at anchor and science poster presentations, B Watch got the Seamans back underway and making way to Auckland. After several watches of no science deployments and minimal sail handling, this watch was jam packed. Hannah, the first JWO, got the stays’ls and jib set and called setting and striking the tops’l several times with all of our different course changes. Sarah, the second JWO, got the mains’l set and worked to ensure that we were making our waypoints
Somehow, dawn watch always arrives sooner than you think: the 0030 wake-up call, the red lights that preserve our night vision below decks, the bowl of midrats (midnight snack) to grab from before we stumble out onto the deck. The cool early-morning air and the endless expanse of stars above us brings us more fully into wakefulness, though cups of coffee clutched in sleep-heavy hands may also help.
Today was the first day we were able to set eyes on land after 10 days, and it was miraculous. Despite the incredible calculations and the spirit of B-watch, they were not the first to see New Zealand; Rather, it was C-watch, with Graeme giving the loudest “Land-Ho!!” he could as he was the first to see it.
It continued to be an exciting day as we got closer to land.
I welcomed in the month of November from the floor of the lab where we were busy organizing nitrate bottles. Not only were the samples rolling about, but so were we in the red lights of our headlamps. The 12-foot swells made me feel as though I was in a Pilates class trying to keep from uncontrollably slamming into the people, tables, poles and walls around me. By the time we were relieved by A-watch at 0100, I was ready to sleep.
Dear Family and Friends,
First of all, I would like to start by explaining how surreal this experience truly is. With seasickness long gone, we can now experience and understand the wonders of the sea. The ability to walk on deck at any hour of the day and see nothing but deep blue sea and perfectly clear horizon is an incredible unprecedented experience for me. With no light pollution for hundreds of miles, you are able to see everything from ships in the far distance to a perfect celestial sphere in the night sky.
Hannah King of Connecticut College describes week 4 of the shore component for Caribbean Reef Expedition.