SEA Currents: megafauna
A Birthday at Sea
As a photographer, I try capturing what I think is beautiful in my pictures. I’ve been lucky enough to photograph amazing places such as the deserts of Arizona to the snowy peaks of Niseko, Japan. At these amazing places, I’ve always been able to capture beautiful moments in some way. A waterfall. A sunrise. The milky way. The possibilities are endless. Coming on the Robert C. Seamans, I thought that I would be able share the beautiful moments on board with photography.
Dolphins at the Port Bow, Scrubbed Decks, and Setting Sails
As we prepared to raise the anchor, C watch (my watch) began the sea watch structure of six hours on, 12 hours off by waking up from an interrupted night of sleep at 0600. Kate P. and Sabrina crushed the first meal, starting off the day with scrambled eggs, potatoes with onions and peppers, and bacon. Watch began at 0700 on deck with Austin, Anna J, 3rd mate Eric, and myself scrubbing the decks with freshwater.
Sampling on Saba Bank
Sunrise at sea. A patchwork of cumulous clouds drape across the sky, infused with early morning color. Off in the distance, land, a new island for us, from the chart I learn it is Saba Island – part of the Dutch Antilles.
Long, deep swells gently roll in from the north reminding us, ever so subtly, that the sea sometimes can be angry and may one day be so for us. For now however, we can be thankful for the comfortable seas.
Williams-Mystic S17 Heads Offshore
Good afternoon from the SSV Corwith Cramer. I’m Lisa Gilbert, Chief Scientist and Williams-Mystic professor, here with my colleagues Prof. Mike Nishizaki and Teaching Assistant Hannah Whalen, the Spring 2017 Williams-Mystic students, and Cramer’s professional crew. The S17 Williams-Mystic students arrived Mystic Seaport just one week ago from colleges and universities all over the country, and now here we are 7 nautical miles off the coast of Puerto Rico.
So Close We Can Smell It!
Hi everybody! Today was an especially big day on the Cramer, with an added source of excitement/stress for all of us students. That’s right, today was the day our final research manuscripts were due. I woke up before six because it was too hot to sleep, waited for my seating of breakfast, then sat down at a laptop to continue working on my project. That’s how I spent the morning, at least until it was time for A Watch’s meeting right before lunch. We played “What If?”
As we approach our anchorage, a pod of spinner dolphins dance in the bow. This is maybe the sixth marine mammal sighting today and it never ceases to amaze all onboard. Watching these beautiful moment I recount the eventful day I had before this. I am on A watch and we had the 0700 watch this morning. This was not a normal watch for myself nor my fellow A watchers as I am the first JWO for our watch.
Today was a day filled with animals and true signs that land is near. The day was windy, twenty knots, and cool for most of the day, but that did not stop the animals from showing themselves. First there was an albatross sighting. Then we had whale spouts. The whales were not close enough or the spouts high enough out of the water to identify what species they were. And so the morning watch, my watch, carried on, including a deployment from the stern winch.
Whale of a Day
Cheers and shouts filled the air this morning as a small group of whales surfaced so close to the ship! It was almost as though they wanted to swim along with us for a bit. What an incredible sight, the water from their breath condensing into a bursting cloud above the water! These are the stories that I hear when I came up from the engine room this morning. I had just missed it, but the excitement was palpable. The whales were sei whales, small baleen whales that normally are more solitary.
We are never at a shortage for excitement aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer. Last night, I fell asleep to the gentle rocking of the boat following the end of watch at 0100. I had nowhere to be until 1100 Mini Class and was looking forward to a restful sleep, something that is valued incredibly high here. Instead, I was unceremoniously tossed around my bunk in the foc’sle (the forward area below deck nearest the bow), to consciousness at 0700.
A Date(line) with Dolphins
My day today started exactly at 0000 - A watch was on evening watch, which stretches into the wee hours of the morning, and what an evening watch it was! At around 2300 (technically yesterday, but hey, read Ellen’s blog from Wednesday, 09 October), I spotted what I thought was a fin and heard a splash right off the port beam of the Cramer. “Dolphin!” I yelled, and most of our watch hurried over. We sat there for a second, but there was nothing there.