SEA Currents: styrocast
From the Smallest to the Tallest
Today began with (vegan) pancakes from our amazing steward Sabrina. She has been feeding us non-stop with gourmet meals and snacks six times a day, there is more food here than I’ve ever seen in my life. After an amazing breakfast, my watch (B-watch) was ready to take the deck. Half of us went to tend the sails and ship while the others, Anna and myself went to lab with our scientist leader Grayson. When I walked into lab, there were pantyhose filled with styrofoam cups we had decorated, hanging around the lab disco ball.
Instruments or Not, We’ve Almost Made It
Today the stars have aligned, the trade winds returned, and clouds parted so that with a subtle nudge from Neptune - snatching the trailing spinner off our taffrail log that allowed us to actually track our mileage - we began our long anticipated non-instrument run. As if sextants and compasses weren’t low-tech enough, we’re trading them in for sticks, hand drawn star maps, and the subtle guidance of Mother Nature and Mama Cramer.
Quantitative & Qualitative
Good evening family and friends. Or I guess good morning for most of you, 7-10 hours behind in the states I’m pretty sure. But then again I didn’t know it was Friday until a minute ago when I had to check for this blog entry… Anyway.
Mama Cramer Presents: Whale Watching
Although more recent blog posts all seem to commonly mention Phase III: JWO/JLO, it rightfully deserves this attention. This responsibility tests all of our learning over the past 2+ weeks. From sail handling to hourly responsibilities on deck and in lab, we are the ones that have to make it all happen. The SSV Corwith Cramer usually conducts sampling for science twice a day, weather permitting.
Dear Shore & Co.,
As we cruise along these Pacific waters, there are a variety of very important systems on the good ship Robert C. Seamans that makes this voyage considerably more pleasant than it would be otherwise. This is the realm of Engineering, and it is a hot and sweaty place involving diesel engines, a wide variety of pumps, plenty of plumbing, a few dank smells, and more wires than you would ever dream of shaking a stick at. The operating engineer, Mickey, and his assistant, myself, spend our days managing these systems and keeping them running in good order.
Rounding the Nubbin
Ahoy again! Today was the third and final day of our change project presentations! All we have left is the final write up of what we have learned about our topics at different port stops! I find it challenging to comprehend that there are less than three days left onboard Mamma Cramer with all my shipmates. From Woods Hole throughout the Caribbean, we have studied together, written papers together, raised and struck sails, written some more papers, and, of course, said hello to some whales.
Blue, blue, blue, blue, blue
I think in almost every blog, the crew has mentioned the slipperyness of time out at sea. How six hours can feel like twelve, but three days blur together into one. And now, suddenly, startlingly, we are anticipating sighting land after almost a full month at sea. Land will bring green back into our lives, after a month of blue, blue, blue, blue.
An official report from the D.O.D.!!
We’ve been sailing smoothly for days now as we approach Lisbon, and the deckhands on board have been a busy bunch. For those readers unfamiliar with deckhands (also referred to as sailing interns), we are new mariners helping out with every aspect of running the ship. We stand watches just like mates and students, help teach about the ship at every opportunity, and seek to learn more about sailing and life at sea than a single SEA Semester voyage could allow.
Ben Runs the Show and No Serious Disasters Happen
Today I was a Junior Watch Officer, which meant that I was supposed to run the deck, under Chief Mate Mackenzie’s supervision. I was a bit nervous for this, because usually I prefer to be a lookout, zone out, philosophize, and serenade myself with national anthems. Fortunately I prepared for it pretty well and for the first couple of hours everything went smoothly. Then it was time to strike the tops’l, gybe, heave to, and strike the jib so that Science could deploy the styrocast.
The Sea Never Sleeps and neither do the students of C-257
If I have learned anything from being in college its two things: The first is that sleep is a very valuable commodity which I never get enough of and second, college students are a special breed of individuals. It shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to my classmates and myself that as our time together comes closer to an end, so to would our due dates come catapulting into our realities. Although it should have come as no surprise, there certainly was a great amount of surprise amongst this salty band of collegiate sea dogs when our due dates where announced.