SEA Currents: life at sea
Getting underway for the third time now, everyone has slipped back into the familiar routine of sea watches like a fish to - well, water. The transition back to sea after a long port stop can sometimes be rough as we all struggle to re-gain our sea-legs, but thankfully we’ve had gentle breezes and calm seas to help ease us back in. After a sedate dawn watch this morning, while the Cramer ambled along at a leisurely two knots under a giant white swath of squares’ls, a few students excitedly suggested that they were hoping we might encounter some “sportier” conditions.
Thoughts from the Aft Cabin
The Automatic Identification System (AIS) transmits navigational data between ships, allowing them to see one another as little boat-shaped icons on a screen, sometimes as much as a hundred miles away. Ship names in prosaic boldface text occupy the space next to each vessel on the plot. The cruise ship “MSC Splendida”, bound for Malaga. The merchant vessel “Eide Wrestler”, for Algeciras. The “Interlink Levity”, for who knows where.
Cruising alongside the Pacific
Fifth day of continuous sailing from Wallis. This is by far the longest passage of the program so far in almost three weeks of our life aboard the ship. Things on board have started to become more eventful as everyone has slowly seemed to have adjusted to the strangest ever sleeping and waking up schedules. Going to sleep after standing a watch even during mid-day will feel the same as it does during the night time. I have to say that, after consequent naps on my weekend day, I feel quite disorientated yet so happy to have caught all the sleep hours I have missed in the previous days.
Yale Chronicles Summer Western European Voyage
SEA Semester® in the News:
“Yale sophomore finds empowerment in her time at sea”
by Susan Gonzales, Yale News | Oct. 16, 2015
Summer has given way to autumn, but for Yale undergraduate Alexandra Leone ’18, memories of July and August sunsets, stars, and ocean winds are vivid reminders of an experience that felt to her like “a dream come true.”
About Those SEA Semester Messages in Bottles….
On SEA Semester voyages, our students often take part in the time-honored tradition of scrawling a message, rolling it into a bottle, and plunking it into the ocean. Where these communiqués end up can help us to better understand ocean currents—and they’re a fun way to reach strangers we may never otherwise meet.
In the last week alone, we’ve heard of two separate instances where beach strollers have spotted our students’ bottles—an intriguing enough coincidence that we felt we had to share it on this blog.
Another Day in the Pacific
Life aboard the Robert C. Seamans is never dull. Practical jokes and unpredictable weather seem to keep everyone on their toes and in high spirits. Just yesterday Rachel was on the science deck when, unbeknownst to her, a rogue wave came and gave her a hearty salt water shower. Rachel, being a good sport, laughed it off and continued on with her watch. Down below deck the constant rolling of the waves we have been experiencing has brought on many laughs.
A Buttered Sole and Baby Sea Legs
Everyday tasks are a lot harder at sea. Normal tasks are turned into challenges that may leave you bruised and embarrassed. When walking through spaces without anything to hold onto, you must make a dash and hope a roll won’t come along and send you pancaking the nearest person into a wall. Sleeping in any position other than on your back involves bracing yourself against the side of your bunk so that rolls of the ship won’t toss you out of your dreams.
Lots has happened since my first blog, and even since our departure from Mallorca. Being at sea for so long has made it so much easier to get into the routine of watch schedules, science deployments, and sail handling. I finally feel like I have a grasp on what we are expected to know and do. And, of course, we recently learned that now is the time for a major shift in expectations, just when we were starting to get comfortable. We are officially entering Phase II of the sea component, the middle section of our trip where we begin to learn task management and much of the behind-the-scenes operation of the ship. Now it’s not enough to know how to raise and strike a sail, or what knots to tie.
Welcome to the Atlantic!
Hey friends and family! I hope you’re all doing well. Oscar here, coming to you from the SSV Corwith Cramer. Today marks a historic day for most of us onboard the Cramer and definitely one I will remember for the rest of my life. After patiently waiting near the Moroccan coast for optimal conditions, we finally sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic Ocean; a feat not many can say they’ve accomplished.
Sunset Over the Mountains Near Gibraltar
In my mind today actually started at some point yesterday at about 2100 with the call of “Whales off the Starboard bow!” After quickly rolling out of my bunk, it was straight up to the bow where lo and behold, a school of pilot whales had come to play. Not a bad sight to end a night on. After that it was back to sleep since our watch (A watch) had to be up for Midwatch from 2300 to 0300. Midwatch is usually a beautiful time to be awake with the rest of the ship asleep.