SEA Currents: research
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.
Birthday at Sea
Good morning from the SSV Corwith Cramer!
On Sunday, February 5, a pod of dolphins surfed our bow wake at sunrise.
A Sweet Day on the Corwith Cramer
Good afternoon from the SSV Corwith Cramer. We are excited to be celebrating Sarah P’s birthday today! Sarah (UConn) and the rest of B watch had breakfast at 0620 this morning. What a treat: Assistant Steward Ger made scrumptious cinnamon rolls!
After breakfast, the watch came up on deck to begin their science Super Station. Here the water is relatively shallow (360 m or 1180 ft deep) so we were able to use our sediment grab to scoop some carbonate mud off the bottom. In with the mud were a few small shells and a live brittle star.
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.
Shore’s in Sight But Memories Will Stay at Sea
The morning began with astonishing moments; San Juan to our backs, the lights making the island of Puerto Rico look like a Christmas tree that filled the sky with light and drowned out the stars. Yet to our port the stars prevailed, covering the black canvas with millions of specks radiating light to the horizon.
A Relaxing Day
Yesterday we were at anchor off the coast of Vieques (our first and only port stop). It was exciting to once again touch land with our own two feet. Re-adjusting to not moving and being on land felt different. I couldn’t tell that we had stopped until I came onto deck and saw that we had stopped. Even when I woke up today, I felt as though we had never stopped moving. I had watch at 0700 this morning.
Learning the Boat
Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. We got to work a lot on sail handling, and on learning the names and locations of things in general. We started by putting the main’sl up and all the lines associated with this: the halyard, the downhaul, and the sheet. It’s very fun for me to see the different sail plans and names for things as I am a collegiate and much smaller boat sailor. My arms are a little tired today as there are no self-tailing winches or blocks with cleats, and the traveler takes at least three people to operate.
Karen Merritt is winner of Armin E. Elsaesser Fellowship award
Karen Merritt, public health educator, street photographer and SEA Semester alumna (W-98), has been selected to receive this year’s Armin E. Elsaesser Fellowship award. Karen plans to use the award to investigate and document the “invisible history” of 16th and 17th century mercury and silver mining in Spain and Mexico, which she describes as one of the “longest continuous maritime transport endeavors in history.”
About the Award
Established in 1987 in memory of Armin E. Elsaesser III, master mariner, educator and adventurer, who taught Maritime Studies at SEA Semester and sailed as crew aboard the SSV Westward, the fellowship provides an opportunity for recipients to follow a dream that has been elusive because of the demands of work or study. Fellowship winners actively investigate a marine or maritime subject of personal interest. Projects must be unrelated to their current professional activities and reflect a creative and independent approach to the pursuit of knowledge. SEA alumni, faculty, staff, former employees and crew are eligible. Awards range from $3,000 to $7,000.
As we make our way up the coast of the North Island, I’m continually amazed with the sights of the coastline here in New Zealand. The geology is amazing! And we are right now in the heart of it all – spectacular cliff escarpments… volcanic mountain ranges (see picture-to-scale for reference)… uplifted strata… evidence of a landmass undergoing some serious tectonic strains and active geological processes.
We are once again together and underway after spending three days anchored in Prince Rupert Bay, Dominica. Each watch had two days on land to explore the island and one day working on the ship to give Mama Cramer some well-deserved love.
This morning, the taste of Ting (a local grapefruit soda - think Squirt but so much better) still tickling my taste buds, we jumped right back into watch rotations, “rotating home” or back to our original watch officers for our last three days underway.