SEA Currents: port stops
Here’s to C-275!
Let’s count off. Who’s here? One-two-three-four.seventeen-eighteen! Alright, we have everyone. Every shipboard muster begins with a count off, a count up or count down to ensure that all the students and staff are present. One through eighteen for the students and interns and then by department for the crew. Here are some more important and interesting numbers from the trip.
Life at Anchor
Today is our last day at anchor before we set out for a three week sail to the Kermedec Islands and back! Both students and crew are taking advantage of land while we still can, heading ashore in groups to stretch our legs, buy back-up stocks of toothpaste, and explore the quaint town of Russell. Meanwhile, Conservation and Management students are looking for local Kiwis to interview. Our class has focused on studying the use of single-use plastics in the States, particularly Falmouth, Mass.
Today we ventured ashore for a tour of Grenada with our outstanding guide, Mandu. Our journey began travelling north along the west coast of the island with picturesque views of tiny bays and harbors and a narrative of the island’s complex history. The bus chugged up the steep volcanic hillside and brought us to our first swim call (aka Sierra Charlie) at a waterfall! The already high spirits of the group lifted even further as we played in the cool, rejuvenating mountain waters.
Another Field Trip!
Today was our second day anchored off of Russell and we took a field trip to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed. Many of us wore full yellow foul weather gear to stay dry in the rain, which resulted in many confused looks and inquiries as to why we were dressed like banana slugs.
St. Georges, Grenada
Here we are at anchor in St. Georges, Grenada, our final destination. It’s quite amazing how far we’ve come in the 29 days since leaving the dock in Woods Hole. There is excitement in the air as the students are getting ready to go ashore and maybe a little unwilling recognition that the trip is almost over. The final port call is a bittersweet moment as one has spent the whole trip heading to this point (storms and dolphins, rain and rainbows, crepuscular rays and beautiful sunsets) and yet this community and home we have built is almost over.
What a different way to wake up for the crew of the Corwith Cramer this morning. Drawn from its slumber by Rachel’s singing voice, the entire ship’s company got a wake up at once - something unheard of underway when an entire watch is awake and working at any given time. New sights and sounds greeted the early risers as they stepped onto deck: a risen sun behind a verdant hill dotted with houses, high frigates already soaring in the air, a barking dog, stately pelicans grazing the flat water surface with their wingtips.
Arrival in Carriacou, Grenada
In the words of Anna yesterday, “Here we are.” This evening, however, that phrase has a whole new meaning, and we aboard have the firmest sense of where we are yet. Land! Sighted early this morning as distant flickering lights 38 nm away, then rising out of the gloaming as the sun comes up and gives us colors to behold; then we are between two islands and in the lee and the smell of the land is overwhelming. Wet dirt, fresh wood smoke and an entirely new array of ocean smells not encountered in the open ocean.
More Training, More Fieldtrips
After a night spent rotating through night watches for the first time, we woke bright and early for breakfast and emergency situation trainings. We rotated through fire, man overboard, and abandon ship practices and succeeded in rescuing Gilbert, our rugby ball, from a cold dip. Around 11, despite the drizzle, we set off for the Auckland War Memorial Museum. After exploring Albert Park, the University of Auckland, and the Auckland Domain, and learning some of their history, we were set loose to roam the museum.
Today the eager students of S-276 boarded the Student Sailing Vessel Robert C. Seamans docked in busy downtown Auckland, New Zealand. Welcomed by equally enthusiastic staff and faculty, the students stowed their bags, made their bunks, and began their lives as crew and members of this sea-going learning community.
Goodbye Fiji, Hello New Zealand
Today we departed Suva, Fiji to start our final two weeks on the ship! It is crazy how quickly time passes here on the ship!
Yesterday morning, we visited the community of Korova which is home to traditional sailing canoes called Drua. I’m doing a project on traditional navigation techniques and architecture of these canoes and to my excitement, they kindly welcomed us on their small, single sailed wooden Drua.