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SSV Corwith Cramer Blog

Position information is updated on a workday basis only.

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C241d - Science at SEA II

Date: 8 August 2012
Position: 41 21.4’N x 70 46.9’W, Menemsha Bight
Speed: 0 knots
Wind: Force 1, SW
Photo caption: Oceanography presentations commence!

After sailing through the night under a sea of stars, we dropped the hook in Menemsha Bight this morning for student project presentations.  For the last two weeks solid, all students on board have been learning the scientific foundations necessary to understand our recent oceanographic observations in the Gulf of Maine.  Each pair or trio of students chose to study a piece of the puzzle- biological, chemical, physical, or geological components of data collected- and they presented their analysis to the ship’s company this afternoon.  I was so impressed with everyone’s effort: their professional-looking posters, concise and organized thoughts, their confidence. Collectively, we came away with a solid interdisciplinary understanding of the marine realms we sailed through and sampled over the past week.

Another brilliant sunset stunned us this evening as students began to gather on the quarterdeck.  The Captain and I have been gently urging all students to think about how this experience at sea has affected their feeling of global citizenship- in other words, their being a citizen and steward of this planet.  This culminated in an insightful, thought-provoking discussion about the topic.  I’ll share with you a few anonymous inspirations from students, following the prompt “I feel inspired to.”:
“. continue to explore different parts of the world and go on new adventures that will help me to push my own personal comfort zones. I want to challenge myself in new ways.”
“.teach people about the ocean and what’s in it and do things to conserve it.”
“.dive deeper, climb higher, fight harder.”
“.work harder in school. At SEA I found that even though I struggled, schoolwork (or really anything) isn’t that impossible if I keep working on it.”
“.reflect on how I relate to friends and family- and to treat them with the same respect and care that I have for shipmates.”

It’s been an incredible voyage with true gems for students. From the aft cabin, we couldn’t be more pleased with how this trip has progressed. Signing off for the night,
Skye Moret, Chief Scientist



C241d - Science at SEA II

Date: 7 August 2012
Position: 41 29.9’N x 070 50.2’W
Speed: 3.8 knots
Wind: Force 2, SxW
Photo caption: Cramer sails into the sunset - our final night sailing

B Watch had an awesome day today aboard Corwith Cramer. After standing dawn watch, and viewing a fantastic sunrise, we cleaned the ship and then headed aloft. B Watch (Megan, Ellen, Harrison, Jason, Julia, Mary, and Maia) had the opportunity to climb the foremast shrouds and view Cramer from above. It was radical!!! Since then we have been analyzing our oceanographic data and are now standing evening watch.  Another mind blowing sunset and tacking tonight!

There are many things on board the Cramer that we do not have on land. For instance, we take “navy showers” to preserve water. We never go to the bath room; we always go to the head. And our stewards cook fabulous meals in the galley, not the kitchen. Even the cookies taste better cooked in the galley. On land we never get to see whales-but on the Cramer we just have to look off the port beam-which for all you land lubbers is the, middle, left side of the boat. We have learned a whole new language on Cramer and are enjoying our last watch underway!

As ever, B Watch (represented by Harrison, Megan B. and Ellen)



C241d - Science at SEA II

Date: 6 August 2012
Position: 42 33.8’N x070 17.2’W
Speed: 3.9 knots
Wind: Force 2, W
Photo caption: A Watch stands ready to deploy a NOAA drifter buoy

Today A watch (Isabella, Lindsey, Noah, Quincy, Stephanie, Jessica, Megan W., Katherine) did the third and final superstation at Jeffrey’s Basin. At the Basin, A watch deployed the Shipek (sediment) grab to 185 meters, Neuston and phytoplankton nets, the Secchi disc, the hydrocast, and also a drifter for NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This drifter will help NOAA in tracking currents by sending GPS positions from the floating device for months and even years! All of the watches had the opportunity to make their mark on canvas fins that were attached to the device before it was deployed.

One of the highlights of the trip is the fabulous food. Our stewards, Shelby and Mickey, work around the clock preparing enough food to keep all 37 people stuffed all the time with the six meals a day: three main courses and three snacks. On top of their ability to feed 37 people, they are also some of the best cooks around. Every meal is something different and extremely tasty. I personally do not have a favorite since I have enjoyed just about every meal that I have eaten. I had a bad experience after eating the falafel, “feel awful”, but that was mostly due to the unexpected rough seas at the time. The waves that came with the cold front made a lot of people uncomfortable and people started to get seasick, since we had been lucky with calm seas thus far.

As evening came and C Watch (Natalie, Abby, Alex, Courcelle, Johanna, Meg, Cassia, and I) took over at 1900, we spotted two humpback whales, one mother and her baby. They stayed with us for about ten minutes. After the whales left our port side, we took a quick walk to starboard to one of the prettiest sunsets I have ever seen. We should be going through the Cape Cod Canal tomorrow and will later be sailing around in Buzzard’s Bay finishing up our research projects and having a “Field Day”, which is cleaning the ship from top to bottom.

Ben Weise



C241d - Science at SEA II

Date: 5 August 2012
Position: 42 44.1’N x 069 39.0’W
Speed: 2.9 kts
Wind: Force 4, SxSW
Photo caption: B watch digs their hands into seafloor sediment

Greetings from mid-watch on the Corwith Cramer.  B Watch labbies reporting! Today we did the second superstation at Wilkinson Basin.  It was our deepest deployment to 238 meters.  We deployed the shipek grab for sediments, the secchi disk to measure turbidity, the hydrocast for water samples and a phyto- and neuston net for phytoplankton and zooplankton.  In our shipek grab we found clay-like sediment (that we may have painted our faces with) and little sea urchins.  In our neuston tow we got baby lobsters and blue isopods!!  B Watch also deployed our styrocast today!  We all decorated cups and sent them down with the wire to shrink them.  Tonight we are deploying another neuston tow and we hope to catch more cool critters!  Until tomorrow, this is Ellen, Megan and Julia representing B Watch. 

P.S.  Ellen says, “Hi Mom and Dad, congrats to William on some great rounds of golf”, Julia says, “hi Mom, Dad, Willow and James!”, Megan says, “Hi Mom, Dad and Brian!”.



C241d - Science at SEA II

Date: 4 August 2012
Position: 42° 33.9’N x 069° 44.8’W
Speed: 4.8 knots
Wind: Force 2, SWxS
Photo caption: Cramer under full sail over Stellwagen Bank

Today was another great day at sea! B watch had dawn watch today and we spotted four Humpback whales quite close to the ship. Fog set in this morning so we had the fog horn on for the first time this trip. Thankfully we didn’t have that on for too long. Later on, C watch was able to deploy its first neuston net and collected some interesting organisms (super lobsters and isopods) that most of us were able to look at under a microscope. Also, in the afternoon during class we were able to set all of the sails! It was exciting to experience and many of us were able to get pictures of it. Everyone was busy during this time, and to set the biggest sail, the mainsail, all students were needed on its halyard. The halyard is the line attached to the sail which raises the sail. Unfortunately, we couldn’’t leave all the sails up with night falling, so A watch and B watch struck a few sails afterwards.

Now, the sun has set. The ship at night is certainly different than the ship during daytime. We continue to have similar tasks such as lookout and boat checks, but darkness changes the atmosphere. We are all equipped with “beacons of hope,” lights that are attached to our safety harnesses that begin flashing once in contact with water. Also, no white light is allowed on deck except in the lab, which has its port holes and door covered. The deck needs their night vision and also has red lights available if needed. Finally, everyone is much quieter than usual because most people are sleeping at this time. Night watch is an exciting, and maybe even a bit scary, experience.

Megan Bucol



C241d - Science at SEA II

Date: 3 August 2012
Position: 41 58.7’N x 70 25.7’W
Speed: 3 knots
Wind: Force 4, SW’ly
Photo caption: Cramer motor-sails under the Bourne Bridge

Good evening! Last night we anchored in Menemsha Bight and today is our first official day underway with the main stays’l and the forestays’l set, along with some motor power.  We went up through Buzzards Bay and the Cape Cod Canal and are heading out to Stellwagen Bank, which will be the point where we do our first super-station!  A super-station is a scientific overload where we will deploy a lot of equipment in order to retrieve a lot of different data studying a lot of different things.

At first getting underway was a bit rocky but after a few hours and some naps I began getting used to it, however meals are a bit startling.  The tables here are gimbaled which means they rock with the ship so the food is not falling off the table, but it’s sort of nauseating to stare at it.  B watch officially began at 1300 and C watch (my watch) relieved them at 1900. We have all been getting in naps in preparation for when we have to be awake at various times during the night for our watches.  So far there have been two amazing sunsets and there will definitely be more to come!

Abby Cough  
P.S. I love you Mom , Dad, Eli and Kaitie!



C241d - Science at SEA II

Date: 2 August 2012
Position: Anchored at Menemsha Bight, Martha’s Vineyard
Speed: 0 knots
Wind: Force 4, SW
Photo caption: Ship’s company all together alongside Dyers Dock

Science at Sea II 2012 gets underway! After a lovely afternoon of motoring down Vineyard Sound toward Menemsha Bight, students are getting their first taste of sea.  In the first few hours they have been subject to much shipboard orientation- lab safety, line-handling, and proper boat checking- the first round of necessary training before we can get underway again and set sail.  The ship is becoming quiet as the ship’s generator is shut down and students quietly write in their journals and head to their bunks.

Tomorrow brings another round of orientations and safety drills - man-overboard, fire/flooding, and abandon ship- before we haul back the anchor and head towards the Gulf of Maine via the Cape Cod Canal.  I, for one, can’t wait to start our science sampling!  Putting together the oceanographic foundations learned on shore with our sampling to tell the scientific story of our voyage will be an awesome challenge. We look forward to sharing this adventure with you in the coming days.

Skye Moret, Chief Scientist