SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
Hello everyone! We are all enjoying sailing downwind and also realizing how very different it feels. The sailing is much smoother, but the helm takes a bit more attention. I personally am enjoying the new areas of shade on the foredeck.
This morning, A-watch set the raffee for the first time this entire trip. It is a little triangular sail that sits at the very top of the topsail. It is super challenging to set because it actually has to be hauled up from the deck, so it took us a few tries to get it right. But, we all felt pretty accomplished when we got it up there. We struck it at the end of our watch to make sure we would be in the right location for our special science deployment!
ME AGAIN! Today we sailed out of Montserrat. This was such a cool island, but when it came time to haul back our anchor, and set sail it was all hands on deck. This started out just like any other departure, with the setting of the stays’ls, but then the order came down from the captain: Set the Topsail! Set the Course! Two commands that we’ve been anxiously awaiting. These are the two square sails on the boat that we have never set before. There was a moment of uncertainty and then we all sprang into action. With the wind at our backs, and the sails set and full with wind we are making out way back to the US Virgin Islands, and ultimately, in just 5 days, back in St. Croix.
Another beautiful day sailing on the Corwith Cramer began for C watch as they took the deck at 0700 after the B watch JWO skillfully navigated the ship to the waypoint set by the captain off of the island of Montserrat. As we sailed the ship in closer to our anchorage under the loom of this lofty volcanic island we did not find the wind shadow that we had experienced on many of the other islands that we have recently sailed under the lee of. The ship charged on at 7 knots until we reached a point 1 mile off our anchorage where our JWO Kyle hove the ship to and took in all of the ships sails with the help of our friendly B watch shipmates.
We’re at that point. In every long undertaking I‘ve endeavored upon in my life so far, there has been some sort of alumni who has warned: just wait for the end because itll get crazy and hard. Sure enough, we have arrived. Our professors have been fair and judicious in assigning periodic deadlines in order to advance our projects, and yet here the majority of us are, scrambling to figure out what it is we have been scientifically up to in the last month. It turns out the absence of internet research availability really works the critical thinking skills which I found to be embarrassingly sore for what my liberal arts college purports to teach me.
Poet Derek Walcott once compared the Lesser Antilles to peas on a tin plate, and he was right. These past weeks, they have been sliding by, first to leeward, and now upwind of us as we make our return journey to the north and west. Tall green volcanic masses of trees and cloud, sitting on the silver sea, they are sized and spaced with a uniformity that is surprising to anyone who isn’t a geologist.
Greetings from the Galley! Team galley is the smallest team on the ship just Becky the brain Slattery and myself, Jenny J.Ray or Cricket Ray. Together, with the help of Roxy (our temperamental diesel stove), Lola (the boiler), and many helpful students who stop by when they arent busy with other ships business, we make three meals and three snacks every day. A normal day begins at 0430 when we make breakfast, get a head start on the days snacks, and make other staples such as bread, yogurt, and granola. These tasks keep Becky and I busy through lunchtime, after which we break and have time to attend class and rest up before tackling dinner.
Only ten days remain. Not far off numerically, however the amount of work ahead is intimidating to say the least. To add to the academic stress aboard the Corwith Cramer, as Jade touched on in yesterdays post, the third phase of our voyage is upon us. This means Junior Watch Officer rotations have begun. So far Kate and Jade have lead the way with fine performances to say the least. There has been a great deal of navigating and science today, and without the proper guidance from an expert leader, many of these procedures would not be completed precisely and in a timely fashion.
Hello lovely people! Today lets talk about science. While in Bequia there were many wide eyed, coffee fueled students that stayed on board Cramer to work on their research data instead of laying on a Caribbean beach, or exploring the island (which we had done the previous two days). What nerds we are, sailing for science. I do believe we all had our fill of excel spread sheets and figures yesterday. Today we did a CTD deployment, which is used to measure salinity, temperature, and depth. We also deployed my favorite scientific device, the neuston net.
Hey friends and family! We put to sea again from Bequia today after having a few days to enjoy one of my new favorite spots in the Caribbean. This place was wonderful and the thing that made it so enjoyable was the people. The first thing I saw when going ashore was a little boy named Chadwick who was fishing near the dingy dock from the refrigerator he was paddling! Chadwick and his friends met us on the docks several times to hang out and dance.
Hello, to everyone living in the world outside the Corwith Cramer. Today was a perfect day spent in Bequia. All of the students left the boat at 0730 this morning. After a little bit of time using wifi and getting back in touch with the outside world we went to a local fruit market had fruit including soursap, star fruit, coconut, wax apple, mango and banana. At 0900 we met Craig and Mr. Belmar for a tour of The Bequia Boat Museum and a chance to learn about Bequian history and culture.