SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
Imagine a rainbow made of varying shades of silver extending completely across the night sky. I had no idea that this, to which we coined the term “moonbow,” existed before I saw it last night. We had just sailed through some squalls during our evening watch; it was raining, and the boat was getting knocked around in the waves, making lab work difficult to say the least. Suddenly, the storm passed and everything was calm until Gracie busted through the lab door shouting, “Guys! There’s a rainbow. AT NIGHT!”
Today was quite a fun, busy and educationally competitive day. ‘B watch’ began the day by relieving the dawn watch A at 0700. The morning was on the rough side as we began our day by sailing through 10-12 foot swells. Due to the fact that the ride was quite rocky it held challenging conditions for deploying science equipment off of the port side science deck. However, nothing holds a true scientist from researching and learning.
Today we continued sailing along the southern coast of Puerto Rico. We sailed southeast for most of the day, allowing for the deployment of all of the science gear, including the Secchi disk. The Secchi disk looks exactly like a white dinner plate, but instead of holding food, it is super science-y and awesome. The disk allows us to calculate light penetration into the water, which in turn gives us information about phytoplanktons’ preferred depth.
Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. We got to work a lot on sail handling, and on learning the names and locations of things in general. We started by putting the main’sl up and all the lines associated with this: the halyard, the downhaul, and the sheet. It’s very fun for me to see the different sail plans and names for things as I am a collegiate and much smaller boat sailor. My arms are a little tired today as there are no self-tailing winches or blocks with cleats, and the traveler takes at least three people to operate.
Today began at 0600 hours with a breakfast call for the majority of the SSV Corwith Cramer crew. However, a few unfortunate victims remained sleeping due to the placid San Juan Harbor, now a distant oasis. Breakfast consisted of waffles, eggs, bacon, vegan options for our animal lovers and a bucket full of Nutella that Bex had bewittingly hidden from us the day before. Following breakfast we received instructions for our Daily Cleanup (DC). The Corwith Cramer is decked out with environmentally friendly products, and swiffer sweepers named after pirates that we use to keep the soles, heads and showers in tip top shape.
Welcome to the SEA Miami of Ohio program. I’m happy to report that, after an arduous day of air travel yesterday, all 16 Miami of Ohio participants (14 students, their professor Rachael Morgan-Kiss, and TA Shasten Sherwell) all boarded the Corwith Cramer in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico at 1100 this morning. After a quick muster on the quarterdeck for introductions, we transited the ship to a nearby anchorage in San Juan Harbor, blissfully leaving hordes of noisy passing cruise ship tourists behind.
A group of 14 invited colleagues from colleges and universities around the country arrived at the Corwith Cramer early this morning, and quickly stowed their gear in their bunks before mustering on the quarterdeck at 1000. Introductions of both the professional staff and the colleague participants followed, along with discussion of our general plan for the voyage. The colleagues, who are working members of the ship’s crew for the next five days, were assigned to their three watches. They held initial watch meetings and then rotated through orientation to hydrowire deployments and to sail handling.
The evening air is drenched in sweet tunes pouring from the lips and fingers of our talented crew as students and staff alike swing about the science deck, yet again, entrenched in a jovial contra dance. The dancing and giggling is only briefly and occasionally interrupted by the dregs of a hilariously long game of “mafia” and for short sips of secret recipe swizzle juice and cookies.
This story is inspired by a journal entry by a spatula… A.K.A Mr. Spatchy
I woke up in the morning with a big smile in my face, thinking of all the hard work to come. I started cleaning what I heard was called Puerto Rican scrambled eggs with coconut bread that smelled really good from the Galley cavern. It was pretty interesting looking from upside down at two giants that were having fun mixing and crafting in their magic caldera a wonderful treat that I had to eventually clean.
It’s the assistant steward here! (for those of you who don’t know, every day a new student gets to assist our steward/goddess Morgan in the galley, so technically the assistant steward could be anyone….anyways, it’s Kayla talking to you right now) I’m sitting in the main saloon watching everyone enjoy the pest-faux pasta Morgan and I just whipped up. You’re probably thinking “what’s this pest-faux pasta?