SEA Currents: celestial navigation
Mike Oscar November Delta Alpha Yankee
The Sargassum is back! Kind of. Today we found the most Sargassum on the whole trip thus far, but it still wasn’t a whole lot. We wanted to take advantage of the find, so we were hove to all the way until class time at 1400. We got plenty of samples, and they are now being processed. Since being hove to means not too much action of the watch crew on deck, we decided to practice some celestial navigation.
The Salty Adventure Continues
To the possible dismay of my parents, it has taken a nautical adventure for me to learn how to enjoy cleaning. During morning watch today, I and other members of A watch had a great time cleaning the deck, using the saltwater fire hoses, dish soap, and brushes to keep Mama Cramer happy and clean. Getting sprayed (usually accidently) by cold saltwater was a great way to wake up in the morning.
Approaching Boca Chica
I just came below deck after a beautiful sunset, an equally beautiful moonrise, and watching a student (Hailey) lead our ship through a tacking procedure to get us pointed closer to our destination of Boca Chica, Dominican Republic - the end of the voyage for C-264.
Of Stars, Sunrises, and Megafauna
We’ve rounded East Cape of the North Island and are steadily making our voyage to Napier. With some balmy, high-pressure weather, we’ve soaked up some sun during the warm days and gazed upon the constellations displayed on the clear starry night skies.
All Downwind From Here
The last twenty-four hours have been marked by strong winds as we make our way down the East coast of New Zealand toward Napier. A Watch was particularly excited to discover, in preparation for our daily Navigation & Weather report, that as more seasoned sailors, we managed to have our rhumb run exceed our log run by 6 miles over the last 24 hours—an indication of efficient sailing.
Keep the Sun over the Life Ring
As I am writing this, we just finished our final hour of non-instrument sailing. I was both excited and slightly apprehensive when we first covered up the compass and stopped using sextants to get fixes multiple times a day. This experiment in navigation was not only completely new for all of our students, but it was also new for me and the other mates. I have to say that I think most people enjoyed it and learned immensely (there was a chorus of boos at class today when Captain Jason announced that the non-instrument run would be ending at 1700 today).
Taking On All Deck & Lab Responsibilities
Today marks the day that we entered the third and final phase of our deck and lab responsibilities. We’ve begun to acquire the fond titles of “J-WO” and “J-LO” to signify the shipmate who will be the designated junior watch/lab officer for the watch. That’s right- the location and safety of 30 people rests on alternating students that began their sailing experience about a month ago. Luckily, our mates, scientists and trusty captain assure us that they will swoop in should something seem wrong. It’s crazy to think how much we’ve learned in this past month and how much more there is to learn!
Location, Location, Location
We’re sailing along and I think everyone is finally used to the rhythm of life at sea - the strange sleep schedule and frequent snacks. However, there have been some changes this week. We’ve transitioned into phase two of the program, in which one student shadows the mate and scientist each watch. Each watch also is working with a different mate and scientist now. I think we’re all sad to leave our original watch officers, but as we start taking the lead, it’s good to see different styles and learn new things from another person.
Today is a momentous day for us. After all of this time at sea I can now say that we are solidly about a week from land in any direction, and even more importantly we have reached our fabled Checkpoint A. At about 1700 (5:00pm for you landlubbers) we turned the wheel away from the comfortable ~230os true we have been steering these last many days, as we have reached our golden latitude. From this point on we will be steering nearly straight west, towards our next checkpoint in the Caribbean.
A Whole New World
Hello my family and friends, this is Siya. It is hard to write this blog because so many things happened in the past two weeks and I do not know where to begin. Life at sea is much different than life on shore, and one thing I notice is that people on Cramer treat each other as family. We do a lot of school work, but even more time is spent learning how to live on the ship. There is a whole new language to learn. In the past, sailors learned sailing by oral traditions and working on the ship, and now we are learning in the same way.