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Current position of the SSV Corwith Cramer. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers.

SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer


Mar

01

Sharing Ocean Knowledge

Maddy Ouellette, C-Watch, University of New England
Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Above: 35 Dominican High Schools students and Cramer crew. Below: James stands Lookout on the bow during sunset

Ship's Log

Locale
Anchored in Samana Bay, DR

Sail Plan
Getting Underway Soon

Weather
Humid and windy

Souls on Board

Hello internet world, family, and friends!

It is day 16 of our trip and it has been a rollercoaster of a time! Today is our last day anchored in Samana Bay, DR and also the official start of Phase II for the student crew. Phase II is when students are given more responsibility in lab and on deck during watches. Out watch leaders will start taking small steps back and show us how they make decisions and why those decisions are necessary. It is going to be very cool to test the knowledge I have gained so far and learn more about the inner workings of what a mate does.

This morning we had our last chance to go into town and adventure. I, along with Chief Scientist Jeff Schell, Dr. Heather Henahan, and student Michaela Kenward, got the amazing opportunity to teach a small lecture to a group of 35 local Samana high school students. We talked about what science SEA Semester does, we showed off our awesome Phytoplankton net and Neuston net along with a ton of samples we have taken. Jeff talked about zooplankton and phytoplankton, which lead into me talking about marine debris and micro-plastics, which then lead into Michaela talking about Sargassum which finally lead into Heather talking about her whale project.

At my university, I am an Education minor and I've always loved teaching people of all ages, so this experience for me was wonderful! I have been student teaching all grade levels since I was in high school but this was the first time I ever taught a classroom full of people who didn't speak my native language. We had a translator which was helpful, but it was so interesting to see their faces be so blank when I was speaking and then they would smile and nod once the translator finished speaking.

It was so refreshing and exhilarating to be able to share the work that we have done so far on the Cramer and have people be so receptive to what we were sharing. My work with marine debris and micro-plastics this semester has also opened my eyes to all the harm that is being done to the ocean through trash. You always hear about coral bleaching and oil spills, but not a lot of people ever talk about marine debris. Maybe we are ashamed that we have created all this trash or maybe people don't really understand the harm it does to the ecosystems, animals, and in turn us. I am excited to continue my research with this topic until the end of the trip and see the final results.  I also hope in future port stops to get more chances to teach people about the ocean and how to keep it safe.

We are plan on leaving the Dominican Republic in a few hours and starting our journey to Port Antonio, Jamaica. We are stopping at Silver Bank before Jamaica to record whale soundscapes and hopefully see some epic whale action! I am praying for LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of wind because we have done far too much motoring this trip and it is time for our sails to see some action.

Until Next Time,
Maddy 

PS- Yo Yo fam! Missing you tons and tons! Tell the pigs of guinea hi for me and give BLT some love as well. And Emma, stop unfollowing me on instagram. I see you. xoxo, Cat 5

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