SEA Currents: life at sea
Sailing for Science!
Our first full day at sea! Waking up to a gorgeous sunrise at anchor this morning, we set the sails and continued towards Russell. Throughout the day, we’ve been rotating watches focusing on applying all of our newfound skills in navigating, plotting courses, and catnaps. Around 1400, all hands gathered for our first actual class of the voyage. We discussed our current position (roughly 60 nautical miles North of Auckland), sail plan, and weather forecast before diving into sail handling 2.0.
First day of Sailin’ and dolphins
Bon Voyage, land!
We started my day with breakfast then chores. My watch was in charge of scrubbing the deck (I’ve been calling it the poop deck until someone tells me that it is not the poop deck). After chores we were released to do our independent study. Caleb, Will, and my project for Sense of Place, are to observe and document the taskscape of Mount Eden, Auckland’s tallest dormant volcanoes.
So Here We Are
“SO, here we are, running before the wind under the topsail and course…” Jesse, sailing intern and current C watch J-WO says to A watch clustered around him on the quarterdeck. His voice comes from a silhouette plastered against a backdrop of stars. “The wind is from the East, force 4. Course ordered is 300 degrees….” he continues. And so began last night’s evening watch.
A Life Changing Adventure Coming to a Close
“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon for each day to have a new and different sun.” –Jon Krakauer
Where do I even begin? It’s crazy to think that this is our last week aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer. It is truly bittersweet.
To set the scene of a dawn watch not long ago: Still foggy from my 00:30 wakeup, I rolled out of my bunk, made a mug of tea, and ascended the ladder through the dog house to read night orders, familiarize myself with the deck, and receive turnover information from the off-going watch. Directed to take the lookout position, I walked forward to the bow to relieve Mercer, who was looking out and singing “Lean on Me.” I joined him for a chorus, then as he left I situated myself between the rail and the forestay, and I began to watch.
Out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Domino’s pizza delivery does not exist. Thinking of civilization back on land is weird. The concept of green pine trees lurk into my mind and then the reminder that I very well may be greeted with snow when I return stuns me, forgetting that was still a thing. As I stand bow-watch and gaze into the dark twilight of the night, I try to recall my life before this. No routine, no set schedule, no meal times, no daily clean/field days and no wake ups.
I am the Sea and the Sea is Me
I could tell you your life is fine the way it is. I could tell you the niche you’ve found for yourself within society is all you need. The sounds of the city, suburbia, and the chatter you hear at work every day is enough. I could tell you these things but then I would be a liar. It is a fool’s errand to attempt a description worthy of life at sea.
Setting most of the sails on the Cramer
Hello everyone! Today was a special day. During the night while most of the ship was sleeping and only the dawn watch was up we moved from the south Sargasso Sea to the transition zone. The transition zone is in between the south Sargasso sea and the Tropics. That means that we moved one step closer to our destination, Grenada. As we are moving south the weather is getting hotter and hotter. On deck the sun is burning especially for morning and afternoon watch but when it’s windy you can’t feel the heat.
A beautiful day on the South Sargasso Sea
Greetings! Today was another beautiful day aboard the Corwith Cramer, it was partly cloudy but you could still feel the effects of the powerful sun, a sun hat and sunscreen were a good precaution to take. Today is a day that makes you happy to be alive and incredibly grateful to be doing what we are. You can’t help but marvel at the vastness of the ocean and the magnitude of creatures and critters small and large that lurk beneath the surface.
Welcome to the tropics! On this fifth of November the Cramer and her crew crossed the Tropic of Cancer, this invisible line circling the globe at 23° 30’ N. This event (celebrated by as many aloha shirts as I could encourage people to wear) was one I was looking forward to for some time, and this for a few reasons.