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Sea Education Association | SEA Currents

SEA Currents: Oct 2014

Becky Block & Sophia Sokolowski, University of Rhode Island & Wellesley College
The Global Ocean

This story comes a few days late, but only because it took us a while to mentally process and articulate the scarring series of events that have transpired.

On the night of October 29th, as our boat sailed around a few miles off the Madeiran coast, we enjoyed the view of myriad tiny lights shining on the island, reminding us of Christmas decorations. As beautiful as the view was, we couldn’t let thoughts of Christmas distract us from preparing for Halloween. Rumors of the costume collection on the boat fueled our excitement, as we all whispered about how we might dress for the holiday.

Elliot Rappaport, Captain

There are a thousand kilometers of “levadas” on the main island of Madeira, neat stone-lined irrigation channels built centuries ago, at great human cost, to carry rainwater from the mountains into the fertile flanks of the valleys. Tenders walked for days on paths alongside, clearing debris and opening sluice gates to allow the runoff down different watercourses.

Lauren Korth, A Watch, UC Santa Cruz

Happy Halloween from Class S-255 aboard the Seamans! Today was another beautiful day out in the middle of the Pacific. Although it’s sometimes hard to remember that it’s Fall back home, the festivities today were a great reminder! For my watch, we basically had two mornings. Morning #1 started for us at 3am and finished with some lovely Breakfast Boo-ritos made by our Steward and Assistant Steward for the day (Hugh Mackay). After, I crawled into my bunk and attempted to get some work done… but sadly I ended up fast asleep like the rest of my watch.

Kate Motluk, A Watch, University of Toronto

The tension mounted as the racers took their positions. For a brief moment the only audible sound was the ocean against the hull and engineer Dusty’s flame-themed lavalava blowing in the wind. “Racers ready!” cried Will, our chief mate. The semi-annual pin rail chase had begun and pandemonium ensued. Friendships were broken, unlikely alliances formed, fortunes bet. Each watch had a relay team. A scientist would hand each person a card with the name of a line for a sail on it, and our mission was to identify it and return so the next person in the relay could go.

Isabel Han, Carleton College
The Global Ocean

The day started out with B watch on deck at 6:55am. It was a smooth turnover from Alyssa, the Junior Watch Officer from A watch. We were headed for Canical, the commercial port in Madeira. As I was assigned to bow watch, I could say that I had the best view; the skyline was decorated by the beautiful sunset and stratocumulus clouds. As we approached closer to land, we could spot signs of life: houses decked on top of each other on the hills. It had been 9 days since we were so close to land.

Gabrielle Page, 3rd assistant scientist
The Global Ocean

Ahoy from the Corwith Cramer, out on the rolling sea / Proud bow, billowing sails – she’s a pleasure to see. The journey has been long / Voyaging’s no small thing / Especially as we were busy watch standing
We resisted the binding spell of a siren / Escaped the gaping jaws of the Leviathan; Weathered many a storm, came out clean from a gale/ Defeated hungry Kraken, hunted a white sperm whale;

Categories: Corwith Cramer,The Global Ocean: Europe, • Topics: c255  sailing • (0) CommentsPermalink


This is what the bow of the Robert C. Seamans looks like from the very top of the foremast. It was really only here that I realized just how tiny we are, bobbing like a cork on the huge, huge earth. But the strangest thing about going aloft for me was how calm and peaceful I felt—until I was back on the ground, and my legs turned into jelly from the adrenaline I didn’t know I had.

Renee Halloran, B Watch, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
The Global Ocean

Land Ho!!
Today during afternoon watch we spotted land, the mountains of Puerto Santo lay dead ahead. After not seeing land for a full nine days, the sight was bittersweet. The excitement of Madeira is just 50 nautical miles away, but that also means we are nearing the end of our last long leg aboard Mama Cramer.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,The Global Ocean: Europe, • Topics: c255  science  sailing • (0) CommentsPermalink

Hugh MacKay, A Watch, Vassar College

Today marks our third day at sea on our way to New Zealand. Despite being this far in, I have yet to accept that I will not be on land for another 11 days (and I think that I speak for most of us when I say that). Much like the rower I am trained to be, I am taking this long voyage one day at a time and focusing not on the distance that separates our crew from the finish, but on the present.

Today was a historical day for students aboard for two reasons, the first being that we all completed our aloft checklists.



Adam Ceely, A Watch, University of Vermont
The Global Ocean

Today was a prominent day for science and the crew of the Cramer, because it was Seamount Day! Some of you may be wondering what exactly a seamount is, but it’s exactly what it sounds like, a mountain in the sea. Although these mountains don’t break the surface of the ocean, they can be just as massive as the ones we see on land. These volcanic structures host a very unique habitat underneath the sea surface, and can be home to some species rarely found anywhere else. They also provide an environment high in biodiversity, and create fascinating oceanographic data that is very interesting to study in many of the projects being done by students on board.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,The Global Ocean: Europe, • Topics: c255  science • (0) CommentsPermalink

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