SEA Currents: c263
BU Today Features Recent Transatlantic Voyage
SEA Semester® in the News:
“Studying Out on the Open Ocean”
By Amy Laskowski | Feb. 18, 2016
Siya Qiu didn’t know the difference between a jib and a bowsprit when she decided to spend a semester studying aboard the research vessel SSV Corwith Cramer. But after a six-week voyage that took her from Spain’s Canary Islands to St. Croix in the Caribbean, Qiu (CAS’17), a marine science major, soon became well versed on what it’s like to live at sea. Read the full story.
Last night, last swizzle
Tonight marks our last night together as a family and crew for C-263 onboard the Cramer. We had our final swizzle with many wonderful acts and poems and songs. This post has a few. I must say that this group of people is one of the funniest groups of people I have ever interacted with and I don’t think I have laughed so much in my entire life. I think it may be part being out at sea brings out the crazy in us all and the fact that everyone has great personalities and is hilarious.
The End in Sight
After 30 days at sea crossing the Atlantic, and now sailing through Caribbean islands, our trip is nearing an end. I cannot quite figure out exactly how I’m feeling about returning home and ending this epic adventure. During this time at sea I have gone from a completely incompetent student to a mildly competent sailor, and it has been an exhausting experience. There were countless moments where I wanted to give up; where I was failing and longed to be at home, with simple luxuries such as music and long showers.
Here We Are
Just like that, we’re back into the normal ship routine we all missed so much from before we anchored in Portsmouth. Mind you, Dominica was incredibly beautiful; the boiling lake, the beaches, French fries, ice cream, all of it felt like a dream after thirty days at sea. I realized while we were sitting at a restaurant called the Purple Turtle on our last day in port that being on land felt less familiar to me at this point in time than being back on the ship.
Into the Caribbean Blue
We have left Portsmouth. Now we sail into the great blue yonder of the Eastern Caribbean, skirting our way past islands and across channels, always heading Northwest and praying, please god, no more light and variable winds. Today, the weather is “sporty,” as cap likes to say, with five- to six-foot swells and twenty five knots of wind sending us along at a glorious six plus knots. How incredible that the wind alone can propel such a large vessel and all of her inhabitants at such a rate that the seas froth up at the bow, and send occasional fans of spray over the starboard rail.
Through the “Valley of Desolation” to a Boiling Lake!
Whenever the crew talked about Dominica’s boiling lake, I apparently had something else in mind. I imagined a lake with some bubbles coming to the surface, much like the first sets up bubbles that appear in ones pot as they’re boiling water for some pasta. I imagined wrong, completely wrong.
And now for some cloud poetry from the ship’s company:
With clear skies and the sun shining,
I miss the days of us together.
Cumulus clouds perfectly combining,
We were one, you as my lover.
Swizzle & Swim Call
Today, A Watch has the deck watch for 24 hours. Everyone else is ashore and Cramer is almost eerily quiet (except for the quiet hum of the generator and the occasional roar of a motor boat passing by). Since we dropped our anchor yesterday morning, I’ve been struck mainly by the calm that has come over the ship. We are still doing boat checks every hour and taking bearings on landmarks to make sure we’re not dragging our anchor. We still spent today doing ship’s work - getting rid of rust stains, maintaining and organizing tools, and cleaning.
At Anchor in Prince Rupert Bay, Portsmouth, Dominica
After 27 straight days and nights of running before the wind, we arrived in Portsmouth at 0800 this morning. Captain Jason continues to astound me with his precision sailing - he said we’d anchor at 0800 and sure enough, we dropped the anchor 15 seconds before the hour. I’ll leave a description of our arrival and the day’s highlights to Anna, who will add on to this entry.
Poppin’ the bubble
Life on the Cramer is moving pretty fast these days. Two nights ago we were just able to see the lights of St. Lucia over the starboard bow, and yesterday morning we saw the most lovely sunrise giving way to the breathtaking green pitons of the mountainous island. Since then, we have slowly been trucking along, going anywhere from zero knots in the wind shadow to whopping 8.5 between islands. This morning, we saw the sun claim the earth as his own rising boldly above the peaks of Dominica, the destination we have all been working for and steering towards for 4 and a half weeks now.