SEA Currents: line chase
Race to the Finish Line
Greetings land dwellers!
Today has been a historic day on the Corwith Cramer. Today, during our designated class time, 16 students competed to prove their seaworthiness in the famous challenge appropriately deemed the Line Chase. After weeks of fumbling with ropes, afraid to meet the disappointing gazes of our mates and scientists as we attempted to strike the mains’l with the forestays’l downhaul, one watch was crowned victorious.
Practically All Salps
When I signed up for my blog post day I picked a day in the middle of the trip between Russell and Wellington because it was the longest haul and it would have been the longest since anyone at home would have heard from me. What I did not account for were the lack of original topics in the middle of a cruise with minimal wind. Fortunately for me today was our deck practical!
Ashore in St John, USVI
Good afternoon from the SSV Corwith Cramer. This morning Williams-Mystic S17 went ashore in St John, U.S. Virgin Islands. As the sun rose, we took the small boat ashore to gather on an empty beach for class and snorkeling. Prof. Mike Nishizaki and I discussed the geography, geology, conservation, and reef ecology of St John. Next, TA Hannah Whalen reviewed snorkeling safety. Students put their notebooks down, and then paired up to explore the reef a few steps away. As we swam, pelicans dove for small fish.
Man the Braces, Let’s Gybe
Today was quite a fun, busy and educationally competitive day. ‘B watch’ began the day by relieving the dawn watch A at 0700. The morning was on the rough side as we began our day by sailing through 10-12 foot swells. Due to the fact that the ride was quite rocky it held challenging conditions for deploying science equipment off of the port side science deck. However, nothing holds a true scientist from researching and learning.
A Friendly Competition
Hello from the Other Side (of the Atlantic)
What a day! Today started with a morning wake up by John where I accidentally clawed his face in the process of proving my alertness and readiness for watch. He was alarmed. Next to a breakfast of incredible oatmeal and yogurt. Following this was watch in the lab. Exciting to be sure, but already previously explained (in the last blog post). However, along the lines of excitement, the whole crew had a “friendly” competition today.
Fun things that were New-New at Anchor in Whangamumu
I woke up for our morning watch, and as I clambered onto the quarter deck, all I could see around us in a 360 degree view, was a beautiful, green, landscape. And my initial thought was ‘how in the heck did we get in here?!’
This was accomplished by some serious maneauvers, clear communication, and teamwork while being “pelted in the eyes” by rain says Captain Pamela.
Our first full day in Tonga was filled with much excitement as we explored parts of Vava’u and met with people from the Vava’u Environmental Protection Association (VEPA)! Today began with a 0800 pin rail chase in which the watches competed against one another, relay style, to find each line we were told. All of the watches did great, all finishing around the same time, but C Watch won by just a hair!
Getting onto shore, we met with Karen, Courtney, Seini, Meredith, and Lisa from VEPA.
Coming to You Live from the Line Chase!
Hey everyone, Alison here again! It’s been another fabulous day aboard the Robert C. Seamans. We’ve spent the last few days tirelessly attempting to evade the rains of the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), and we’ve finally made it. At about 5° north latitude, we have pushed passed its southern border. Hopefully, that will mean blue skies and clear sailing from here on out. With a change in the wind (from NE to SE), we’ve had to motor sail, using our engine to keep us on course to PIPA.
Today has been a very eventful day! Us on C Watch (the best watch!) had the morning shift, and we had the chance to set and strike the top sail, a square sail that is raised Midships. Along with the normal duties, we learned many of the line names, as well as all of the sails. There are a lot of lines to remember, and soon we will hold a pin race, which is similar to a relay race. We will have to run to a certain line (different for each person), identify it, run to it and touch it, and return to our watch at the quarterdeck.
Junior Watch Officer Phase
Today marks the beginning of our JWO/JLO phase. While some of you might be wondering what Jennifer Lopez has to do with sailing, JWO and JLO stand for Junior Watch Officer and Junior Lab Officer. This final phase of our trip marks our taking on more responsibility and stepping into the roles we have watched our mates and scientists excellently perform. While our expert staff will still be there to correct mistakes before they ultimately occur, they will no longer direct us step by step, and they expect us to come up with a plan and execute it.