SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
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.
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.
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.
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.
All C-271 students are safely aboard SSV Corwith Cramer here in Gallows Bay, St. Croix. This evening, we conducted some orientation training and safety discussions to make sure everyone is comfortable aboard our fine vessel. After a wonderful dinner provided by our steward, Kate, students are now finishing up packing into their bunks and starting to get sleepy.
The students of C-271, Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean, will join the SSV Corwith Cramer in St. Croix by February 14th. They will depart in Key West around March 25th, after port stops in Dominica, Samana, Port Antonio and Santiago de Cuba.
Good morning from the SSV Corwith Cramer. We are heading toward Norman Island, BVI, with Junior Watch Officer Clay (SUNY Maritime) and A watch on deck. Moments ago, we struck the topsail, after a morning downwind sail. Through the night, the watches worked with one of their own as Junior Watch Officer to set us up for an easy approach to Normal Island and they did an excellent job!
Good morning from the SSV Corwith Cramer!
On Sunday, February 5, a pod of dolphins surfed our bow wake at sunrise.
Good afternoon from the SSV Corwith Cramer. This morning Williams-Mystic S17 went ashore in St John, U.S. Virgin Islands. As the sun rose, we took the small boat ashore to gather on an empty beach for class and snorkeling. Prof. Mike Nishizaki and I discussed the geography, geology, conservation, and reef ecology of St John. Next, TA Hannah Whalen reviewed snorkeling safety. Students put their notebooks down, and then paired up to explore the reef a few steps away. As we swam, pelicans dove for small fish.
Good afternoon from the SSV Corwith Cramer. We are excited to be celebrating Sarah P’s birthday today! Sarah (UConn) and the rest of B watch had breakfast at 0620 this morning. What a treat: Assistant Steward Ger made scrumptious cinnamon rolls!
After breakfast, the watch came up on deck to begin their science Super Station. Here the water is relatively shallow (360 m or 1180 ft deep) so we were able to use our sediment grab to scoop some carbonate mud off the bottom. In with the mud were a few small shells and a live brittle star.