SEA Currents: research
Dolphins, Whales and 21st Birthdays
What a day on the Cramer! This is about to be a long blog, but I deemed it necessary to try to capture all that this day had to offer, so stick with me. Though every day has its excitement here on board, today was something to remember. We spent the day in the Hudson Canyon, the largest submarine canyon along the US Atlantic Coast, rivaling the depth and scale of the Grand Canyon, just southeast of New York City.
We got the opportunity to participate in the New York Seascape program, a program working to connect New York residents to their nearby ocean.
Today was another exciting day aboard the Cramer! I woke up this morning and had some extra delicious blueberry muffins for breakfast. I had morning watch this morning and today I was finally in lab, the first time since leaving Bermuda. Usually when I enter the lab, I always glance to the little shelf near the port side porthole where the cool specimens from the previous evening’s science station are kept so everyone can see them. I was especially excited once I walked into the lab this morning because I saw a creature that I didn’t even know existed- a Paper Nautilus.
My days onboard are more or less the same; at 0600 I get a wakeup for breakfast, which I inevitably ignore until 0700 when the second seating of breakfast is served. I’ll wander around haphazardly until 1000, when the ship goes hove to for morning station. I get my dipnet, my buckets, the saltwater hose and begin staring out at the sea for the next two hours, hoping to catch a glimpse of tiny spots of gold flecked among the vast expanses of blue water.
Stanford@SEA: Hello Landlubbers!
All is well on the Robert C. Seamans. We set sail from Papeete 40 hours ago and made a fast transit to Oponohu Bay on Moorea to conduct our ship station drills and familiarization routines. Captain Pamela chose this location for its natural beauty and calm waters. We lay at anchor at Moorea for 20 hours while all aboard trained and made ready for sea. Fire drills, man overboard exercises and abandon ship training must be completed, as we are not a passenger vessel.
Day in the Life of a Galley Steward
We reached our 1,000th cumulative mile of our journey during early dawn this morning while the spray was whipping over the bow and the only light on deck was from the stars. We were taking a slight diversion South through the South Sargasso Sea in hopes of obtaining more samples of Sargassum and possibly the form we have not found much of on this voyage:
Another day has come and gone aboard the Cramer. I can’t believe we’ve been at sea for almost two weeks already! It was a warm and beautiful sunny day, although a strong twenty knot wind producing six to eight foot waves had some feeling unwell. Our watch group (B) was supposed to undergo a training for going aloft onto the fore mast today, but the rough sea state prevented us from doing so. I spent the afternoon in lab with Maggie and Grayson, our assistant scientist, counting microplastics and identifying zooplankton and Sargassum fauna from our morning station Neuston tow.
Sweet Life on Deck
We have officially left the coastal waters of the Bahamas, and have entered the high seas, en route to Bermuda. Today was another eventful day onboard the Cramer; standing watch, collecting samples, conducting genetic extractions/analyses, and setting sails. During the allocated “class time,” the crew divided into watch teams (A, B, and C) and set all nine of the Cramer’s sails.
SEA Supports Global Launch of .ECO
Today marks the global launch of .eco, a new symbol of sustainability.
Environmentalism and conservation are core elements of SEA Semester’s mission and curriculum, both in the classroom and at sea. While program specifics vary, students are focused on gaining a deeper understanding of critical issues including climate change, sustainability, biodiversity, human impact on the environment, and environmental justice. Students are actively involved in field research, and their work often contributes to international ocean research efforts.
“Wow, what an exciting day!” – me, every day
There truly is no limit to the excitement on board here. I especially felt this way today, which also happens to be my favorite schedule. We (B/Best watch) had night watch last night (1900-0100), meaning we got a semi-normal night sleep and then the whole morning until lunch free to ourselves. For me, that meant starting off with an awesome breakfast quiche made by Angel, even though I slept right through 0700 breakfast (she’s the sweetest).
Triple Stack Triumph!
It’s a beautiful day on the Cramer! The skies are mostly clear and we’re still in shorts/sandals weather. Along with slowly gaining my sea legs and shaking off seasickness, my science watches have been getting more and more exciting. Last night’s evening watch started out slow in lab, but at 2300 things picked up quickly. We deployed our first triple stack (two 1-meter nets at different depths and a neuston net at the surface) of the cruise!