SEA Currents: May 2014
May 07, 2014
Kiah and I each spotted a barn swallow fluttering near the ship yesterday. She tells me they were likely blown out to sea by a storm during their migration north. By now they have almost certainly succumbed to exhaustion and drowned.
Not many creatures are meant for life on the open ocean. Humans certainly are not. But by the grace of Mama Cramer and the diligence of our shipmates, we sleep soundly each night. The ocean is as unrelentingly savage as it is unrelentingly beautiful, and we are privileged to experience it up close.
May 06, 2014
Well here we are, two stewards and 34 souls to feed. They let us out of the galley just long enough to write this blog. Every day starts with a meal plan, planned the night before during a very austere galley meeting, commencing with the clink of tea mugs. We divide and conquer three meals and three snacks a day, hitting all of the ball park favorites like mac and cheese and sloppy joes, and throwin’ them some curve balls like horseradish and honey hors d’oeuvres.
May 05, 2014
As we slowly increase the distance between our vessel and the equator, the weather has taken a turn for the colder. Even in Bermuda, jackets were frequently worn. As I saw it, breaking out my cold weather gear in such a tropical paradise as Bermuda would be a downright sin. Carefully stowed away in the depths of my bunk under the swim shorts and t-shirts are my synthetic down pants and jacket (together creating a walking sleeping bag), fleece unisuit, and my highly coveted drysuit. However, timing is everything. Switching over from hot gear to cold gear too early, and I‘ll be awash with my own perspiration.
May 04, 2014
This is familiar. I‘ve been here, done this before. But setting sail in St. Georges Harbor and steering through the narrow cut still thrills. The Sargasso Sea greets us with slapping head-seas, waves nearly on our bow, and the boats pitching shakes all of the land habits (and food) out of our systems. I only arrived on Friday and have just recently met a lot of the students, but their excitement and anxiety shows. Theres a lot of work and a shrinking time window in which to do it. Nows the time when we start applying pressure to the students to take on stronger leadership roles throughout both the navigation and science operations of the ship.
May 03, 2014
Although we had plans of going to a beach on the south side of Bermuda, we had no particular beach in mind. This led to an educated guess as to where our first stop of the day should be, and we made the right decision!
May 02, 2014
Bermuda is just beautiful and full with excitement. Even though is not as warm as back home, Bermuda is a mix of the beautiful tropical world and the dynamic seasonal patterns that exalt Nature’s beauty. Today we got the opportunity to visit the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science (BIOS) and got to talk with very interesting people. We learned about many of the seeds that travel floating around the ocean for a long time and sometimes reach Bermuda. Seeds that sometimes come from Costa Rica and even the Amazons in Brazil!
May 01, 2014
Our arrival in Bermuda has not halted the steady march of science on board the Corwith Cramer! In between exciting field trips and some much-needed rest, students have been fighting the good fight to finish up molecular work for their projects. DNA extractions and PCR amplifications must be finished by Friday morning so that samples can be flown back to Woods Hole with MBLscientist Linda Amaral-Zettler for sequencing at the facilities there.
May 01, 2014
It is the students’ last night on the Seamans; it’s been a long day. We have cleaned every nook and cranny of the ship, and packed our bags in preparation for departure tomorrow morning. And tonight we had our final Swizzle, with performances by many of our shipmates. We enjoyed comedy, music, and dancing, as well as some inspirational readings. In fact, the dancing goes on now as the salsa music is playing in the salon as I write this in the library. We all have a lot to think about as we sort out what we have learned on this journey.