SEA Currents: sailing
Promesas a Las Estrellas
There are twenty-four hours in a day and we use every minute of it. Thus, this blog post is for April 13th, and starts promptly at midnight. We were continuing East on a starboard tack under the Stays’ls. I had just relieved my shipmate from bow watch and took his spot standing on lookout in the foremost part of the ship. I fastened my harness around the Stays’l line and looked out into the horizon. There was a light breeze, and the sea rippled with the appearance of scales. Beaufort force 2. It appeared as if were sailing through the moonlight.
Line chase, dead whales, and sunshine
We’re about a quarter of the way through our time on the Seamans, and after some time of seasickness, and nerves about being the people in this (very small) ship community who don’t yet have knowledge of the ship on the forefront of our minds, people are feeling like themselves again. More time has been found for good conversations, sharing music and stories as well as sailing knowledge. The magic of this community is starting to shine through all of the transitions and information and changes that we have been processing for the last week and a half.
Roaring Forties Come Roaring Back!
Well! Dawn watch had an interesting time as the weather arose seemingly out of nowhere (it is hard to see cloud activity in the dark). Near the end of our watch it really picked up and we had to strike the jib and storm trys’l before breakfast. The captain gave us compliments on our no complaints attitude as we were called back on deck to finish some sail handling, especially Carina’s helmsmanship in the peak of the squall! Way to go C Watch!
We woke up to the sound of rattling and banging this morning, along with a change in how the boat tossed and turned us in our bunks, just a few moments before B watch (my watch) was to be woken up for Dawn Watch from 0100-0700.
Birthday at Sea
Good morning from the SSV Corwith Cramer!
On Sunday, February 5, a pod of dolphins surfed our bow wake at sunrise.
Moonbows and Neuston Tows
Imagine a rainbow made of varying shades of silver extending completely across the night sky. I had no idea that this, to which we coined the term “moonbow,” existed before I saw it last night. We had just sailed through some squalls during our evening watch; it was raining, and the boat was getting knocked around in the waves, making lab work difficult to say the least. Suddenly, the storm passed and everything was calm until Gracie busted through the lab door shouting, “Guys! There’s a rainbow. AT NIGHT!”
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.
In the Island’s Lee
Today we continued sailing along the southern coast of Puerto Rico. We sailed southeast for most of the day, allowing for the deployment of all of the science gear, including the Secchi disk. The Secchi disk looks exactly like a white dinner plate, but instead of holding food, it is super science-y and awesome. The disk allows us to calculate light penetration into the water, which in turn gives us information about phytoplanktons’ preferred depth.
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.
The clock struck 0000 to begin the day early this morning, marking the halfway point of S-269’s journey aboard the Seamans. As Captain Amster would say, time is a funny thing. Yet the boat must be sailed, and so the crew does not stand on ceremony as we set our sights on Fiji. One of the most incredible aspects of this journey is the opportunity that it affords us to live in the moment, and as such we aboard the Seamans do not often dwell on memories of the past or prospects of the future.