SEA Currents: spain
So long Barcelona, it’s been swell
Today marked our fourth day aboard the Corwith Cramer and our last day in the port of Barcelona. Since first boarding the ship on Tuesday our time has been divided between training and excursions into the city of Barcelona itself. Although our training does include many aspects of sail and line handling (as well as safety drills and science) much of it has been dedicated to learning and getting accustomed to the daily routine of life aboard a ship.
The Long Awaited Moment Has Finally Arrived
Well, here we are. Every critical moment we have undergone in our preparation for SEA Semester – the lengthy application process, the thorough period of studying in Woods Hole, the exhausting trip to Barcelona – have finally culminated in what we all came here for: The Ship. I first witnessed the Corwith Cramer with my own two eyes at 8:30 am on Monday, September 28 after a long night of flying complete with a rushed trip through JFK and a lost passport scare at the Barcelona airport.
Greetings from Barcelona! The students have all safely arrived onboard, and general ship orientation and safety instruction is well underway! After yesterday’s welcome by our captain Elliot Rappaport and an explanation of the Sailing School Vessel (SSV) status of the Corwith Cramer, students were introduced to the professional crew and organized into their respective A, B, and C Watch groups. And so begins their acclimation to the culture, customs, and language onboard a scientific, sailing vessel that will continue for the next six weeks!
C-262 Students Have Arrived
The students of SEA Semester class C-262, The Global Ocean: Europe, are all safely aboard the Corwith Cramer. They will spend some time becoming oriented with their new home before beginning their ocean voyage. Watch this blog for updates from the students & crew over the coming weeks.
Like a Fish Out of Water
Today we dry-docked the SSV Corwith Cramer for maintenance to her underwater paint system. Dry-docking a ship is always a fun experience for the crew…it is rare to see one’s floating home stuck like a fish out of water “on the hard.” There are a few ways to dry dock a ship: cradles and cranes, graving docks, lifting docks, etc. Here in Palma de Mallorca, the yard uses a marine railway, which is one of the coolest ways to bring a boat ashore.
A Forest of Masts
Our ship is surrounded by a forest of masts. As a popular cruising destination for yachts all across the Mediterranean, Palma de Mallorca has a huge collection of boats of all sizes…many of them larger than the Corwith Cramer! Although we are in the middle of a maintenance period, most of the other yachts in Palma are here for leisure and it has been interesting to see the boats come and go while we make steady progress on our work lists. Often we pause to gape at the huge racing yachts arriving with their exceptionally tall masts. They in turn stare at the Corwith Cramer because we are the only ship in the harbor with square rigged sails and associated yards (yards are what hold the square sails in place).
Ship maintenance is hard work, especially during the heat of August in Spain! Accordingly, our crew burns through some serious calories each day and it is Steward Nick and Assistant Steward Sarah¹s job to replenish the lost energy - and they do an amazing job.
Removing the Bowsprit
We were able to check off one major item from our maintenance list today: removing the 500kg+ bowsprit from the Corwith Cramer! This was a major challenge that tested the minds of all aboard. Why did the bowsprit even need to come out of the ship?
Ruminations on the Elephant Table
In the environments that we work in, our awareness of the space around us is shaped by what we use and work with every day. For me, that means that my mental image of the Cramer is one of food. ‘So-and-so’s bunk’ doesn’t mean their bunk, but the secret cache of food that lies underneath. The settees in the main salon are named Flour, Cold Drinks, or Cholula. And the Elephant Table, extending out from the lab top, is home to squash, melons, and other gourds.
Tearing the Ship Apart
SSV Corwith Cramer is in her annual maintenance period in Mallorca, Spain, and so far the crew have wasted no time in tearing the ship apart and getting after some of the projects which will allow this beautiful vessel to have another excellent year voyaging around the Atlantic.