SEA Currents: caribbean.
Flying juice for breakfast and calm seas for dinner!
The day did not start out as peaceful. I’d say it was a bit more exciting. My day started with breakfast, and I am telling you, a whole pitcher of juice literally flew off our table. Our ship has been rocking and rolling for a few days now, but today the seas were particularly rough. We encountered some ten- to twelve-foot waves during our watch, and squalls just kept coming right at us!
C256A – Colleague Cruise - Joining the ship!
Colleague Cruise Day of Arrival – we had come from all over, Massachusetts, California, North Carolina, and more to start the year of 2015 off with a Colleague Cruise. Some of us had experience with sailing, some had not. Yet as we walked up to the Corwith Cramer, everyone was excited by the beauty of the ship, and more so, the adventure she had waiting for us!
A Note From the Aft Cabin
The Wx (weather) is beautiful, but the ship is quiet with the students departed, as C-256 has officially ended. It was an epic voyage and truly impressive in the annals of SEA – many, many miles sailed with few engine hours. But what was even more impressive was the community that developed aboard. Bringing both Maritime Studies and Scientific voyagers aboard to augment the students worked out delightfully well, adding a depth to their SEA experience.
Preparing for Science on the Saba Bank
T’was one week before Christmas and we’ve just set sail, departing the island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten and heading for St. John in the US Virgin Islands!
This is Clare- I’m a visiting scientist who has had the privilege of working with the fantastic C256 faculty and students since the end of September. I’ve taken a sabbatical from my position at St. George’s University in Grenada in the southern Caribbean and I’ve had a great few months with SEA ashore in New England and on board the Cramer.
A Word (or two) from Engineering
Greetings blog readers! This is Mickey, the ship’s engineer here. Sorry in advance for how much I jump around during today’s blog post.
Back on November 23rd the other engineer aboard, Tanner gave a description of why engineers are needed onboard a sailing vessel, so I’ll just refer you all to that post for a refresher. Instead of rehashing that, I would like to give you a statistical overview of some engineering numbers for our Atlantic crossing.
An Island and a Gallery
Ahoy from the Corwith Cramer! Today marked our arrival to our second port stop of the trip: the island of Sint Maarten/St. Martin. Before settling in the clear blue waters of our anchorage, the “on” watch had a busy morning preparing for our arrival. In lab, a flurry of students and scientists collected some last pieces of data before our time in port. In addition to our loyal Neuston net, we deployed our dip net to collect Sargassum as well as our Tucker Trawl net in search of plastic pieces in the water column.
This morning was our last round of anchor watch in Dominica. I was up for the 5-6am shift, a beautiful time of day when the sun haze begins to glow behind the lush green rain-forested mountains that surround Prince Rupert Bay here in Portsmouth, Dominica ~ the Nature Island. After launching the small boat with Tanner, our trusty assistant engineer, a gaggle of eager students and voyagers followed Nina, our super-chef, and Cap’n Sean to the morning market in Portsmouth. During a peaceful quiet sunrise hour on deck, I nestled up on the elephant table with my favorite 4-stringed boat guitar to play a few parting tunes to what I’d easily call my favorite island (so far).
Idle Minds and Free Time
For the past three weeks we have been kept to a strict schedule, a schedule that is required for the safe operation of the vessel, but today, for the first time in three weeks, I found myself without a schedule. Being in port changes almost every aspect of ship life that many of us have gotten used to and grown fond of. The watches change from A watch, B watch, and C watch to Port watch and Starboard watch. The sleep schedule changes, as night watches require fewer people on deck allowing each person to stand for only one hour each night, rather than the traditional four.
Ship Work Day
After an all-hands breakfast of strata and chocolate-chip muffins, it was time to get to work. Students spent the morning writing and drawing in their academic journals, while the crew brainstormed shipboard projects to be accomplished while in port. Nina stayed busy all the while, stewing up delicious snacks and meals to get us through the day. It did not take long for Willy and Kevin to concoct a list of to-dos. There were projects to help with in the engine room and the lab, and plenty of maintenance work
for the ship.
Becca and Missy set up on the quarterdeck with a set of blocks that were in need of a good sanding down and a fresh coat of paint. As they got busy with that, I harnessed up and headed aloft.
As I rolled out of my bunk still shrugging off the last vestiges of sleep, my sleepy brain struggled to pin down what was different. Were the lights a little brighter? Had Nina created some new delicacy for breakfast? Perhaps some new Dominican recipe? Dominican. DOMINICAN! The morning sun found us at anchor in Portsmouth. Everything was different. The tables weren’t gimbaled, the ship wasn’t heeling, things even smelled different. Up on deck, land smells wafted on tropical breezes.