SEA Currents: Protecting the Phoenix Islands
April 18, 2017
Greetings from the Corwith Cramer!
Today marks the start of Marine Biodiversity & Conservation cruise for S.E.A. class C-273 aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer. Sixteen excited students joined the vessel this afternoon and have become part of the ship’s crew.
We will spend the next two days completing orientation and safety training. Tonight the ship will remain docked in Nassau but tomorrow we’ll get underway for a short sail to an anchorage for Wednesday night. On Thursday we plan to start the voyage and head out towards the Sargasso Sea.
April 17, 2017
Lookout is my favorite part of deck watch. As lookout, you gain distance and perspective, both physically and figuratively. Standing at the bow and clinging to the forestay as the swells pass, your job is to look, listen, and report anything that seems amiss.
This blog post is a collection of some of the thoughts that I had as I stood lookout on dawn watch this morning, eating trail mix out of my pocket and watching the clouds gain blush and peach tones as the sun rose. Everyone agrees on a few aspects of looking out from the bow. Firstly, pocket snacks are essential. Secondly, you are going to end up singing regardless of whether you ever wanted to or not. Time either flies or drags on while you are trying to remember the beginning of a song that you never expected that you would forget. Thirdly, you will think strange thoughts. These thoughts fall on the spectrum defined by profound introspection on one end and utter absurdity on the other, but they tend to be closer to either end of this scope than to the center.
April 16, 2017
As I was sitting down to write the blog today, I heard a crew member mention that we crossed the 2000nm log today. That is a long way to sail and puts us a long way from anywhere. This is perhaps what I love most about this life at sea, the community it builds. Ship, Shipmate, Self…. it’s a pretty good guideline, and really cool to see all the acts of kindness that unfold each day.
Sunrises and sunsets, the other two reasons I really love doing this, and it was clear enough to see both today. The highlight of my day was working with students on their upcoming engineering presentations. They will be pairing up and giving 5 minute presentations on subjects such as, “Shipboard Life without Power” and “Water Desalinization.” Bound to be entertaining and informative, just like what we learned in class today; a blue whale’s tongue is bigger than a bull elephant… the more you know.
April 15, 2017
We have now settled in to Phase 2, the watch groups having swapped officers a few days ago. Now the students will take turns shadowing their watch officers in lab and on deck, and begin to take on greater responsibilities. They will learn all they can in the next two weeks to prepare for running the watch as Junior Watch Officers (JWO’s) in the final Phase.
Today marked other turning points as well. We have a had a few days of nice sailing without the engine, but the light and unfavorable direction today led to the engine coming to assist in the afternoon. The good news was the return of clear sky for celestial navigation. Today our noon position was fixed by advancing a morning sun line to local apparent noon (LAN).
The sky remained clear for evening twilight, where half a dozen students shot the stars. A Watch was able to turn over to B Watch with a celestial position fix on the chart from evening stars. We are all looking forward to more star fixes in the coming weeks.
April 14, 2017
SEA Semester in the News
New Zealand to Tahiti: Spiro ’18 and Wu ‘18 are Sailing Through the Semester. No, Really.
By Doug Cook
Math and physics major Carina Spiro ‘18 and Jacquelyn Wu ’18, a math major, are sailing the South Pacific Ocean in an effort to address and better understand some of the most pressing global questions related to the marine environment.
Through SEA Semester: Ocean Exploration, a study abroad program offered by Sea Education Association (SEA), Spiro and Wu, together with other students with a variety of academic interests, are conducting guided field research projects during a voyage from New Zealand to Tahiti.
Read the FULL STORY
April 14, 2017
The wind has filled in the past couple days and we have been able to sail full and bye (as close to the wind as possible) to make our way north and east to Tahiti. It has been wonderful to sail again, the endless thrum of the motor replaced with the hum of the wind as it blows through the rigging.
Yesterday, the students wrapped up their creature features with a presentation on Hyperiid Amphipods during class. Také and Romina presented on amphipod’s parasitic relationship to salps to the tune of “Your Welcome” from Moana.
April 13, 2017
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.
April 12, 2017
I’m sailing my first trip as a dayworker (I sleep at night and work during the day instead of standing watch), so I’ve been able to come up on deck and join the dawn watch for absolutely stunning sunrises the past few days. I know that there is beauty all over the world, but knowing that we are about 700 nautical miles from the nearest point of land makes the ocean seem endless, and the sunrise even more beautiful.
April 12, 2017
The students of C-273, Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, will join the SSV Corwith Cramer in Nassau by April 18th. They will finish their voyage in New York around May 25th after a week long port stop in Bermuda and begin their second shore component in Woods Hole, MA.
April 11, 2017
Sea Education Association (SEA) will host a public lecture, “Time and Tide: An Anthropology of the Ocean,” on Sunday, April 30, at 2 p.m. Dr. Jeff Wescott, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Sea Education Association, will deliver the lecture, the last of SEA’s Winter/Spring Lecture Series. The lecture will be held at James L. Madden Center Lecture Hall, Sea Education Association, 171 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth. It is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.