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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Dec 2015

December 15, 2015

Swizzle & Swim Call

Molly Pickel, A Watch, Sailing Intern

Oceans & Climate

Today, A Watch has the deck watch for 24 hours. Everyone else is ashore and Cramer is almost eerily quiet (except for the quiet hum of the generator and the occasional roar of a motor boat passing by). Since we dropped our anchor yesterday morning, I’ve been struck mainly by the calm that has come over the ship. We are still doing boat checks every hour and taking bearings on landmarks to make sure we’re not dragging our anchor. We still spent today doing ship’s work - getting rid of rust stains, maintaining and organizing tools, and cleaning.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: c263  port stops  caribbean. • (0) CommentsPermalink

December 14, 2015

At Anchor in Prince Rupert Bay, Portsmouth, Dominica

Janet McMahon & Anna Yoors, Sailing Interns

Oceans & Climate

After 27 straight days and nights of running before the wind, we arrived in Portsmouth at 0800 this morning. Captain Jason continues to astound me with his precision sailing - he said we’d anchor at 0800 and sure enough, we dropped the anchor 15 seconds before the hour.  I’ll leave a description of our arrival and the day’s highlights to Anna, who will add on to this entry.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: c263  port stops  caribbean. • (1) CommentsPermalink

December 14, 2015

Hello from Art Deco Land

Hayley Kushner, B-Watch, Colby College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Hello from beautiful and sunny Napier, New Zealand. We arrived here this morning after a day spent anchored in nearby Hawke’s Bay to avoid some rough weather out at sea. Though our original plan included going to Gisbourne instead of Napier, I have to say that I am personally very glad about the way that things turned out. Because of some tricky harbor situations, Captain Bill informed us that we would be heading south to Napier instead of Gisbourne. At the time, this held no big meaning for me.

December 13, 2015

Poppin’ the bubble

Emma Wightman, A Watch, Roger Williams University

Oceans & Climate

Hey all!
Life on the Cramer is moving pretty fast these days. Two nights ago we were just able to see the lights of St. Lucia over the starboard bow, and yesterday morning we saw the most lovely sunrise giving way to the breathtaking green pitons of the mountainous island. Since then, we have slowly been trucking along, going anywhere from zero knots in the wind shadow to whopping 8.5 between islands. This morning, we saw the sun claim the earth as his own rising boldly above the peaks of Dominica, the destination we have all been working for and steering towards for 4 and a half weeks now.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: c263  life at sea  sailing • (1) CommentsPermalink

December 13, 2015

The Seamans’ Alphabet

Maya Norman, B Watch, Bowdoin College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

A is for the aftsoles for which you must pay the troll toll.

B is for brigantine, our lovely home.

C is for Cholula, the better hot sauce.

D is for deck walk. Did you do it yet?

December 12, 2015

That Time About All of Us

Andy Sia, A and B Watch, Colgate University

The Global Ocean: New Zealand


Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, our time at sea together is drawing to an end. Although we look forward to returning home and whatever adventures there are ahead of us, (and although memory is a tricky thing) I doubt we will ever forget the time we have spent sailing on a particular 134-foot brigantine and on shore. Here is one thing (loosely defined in some cases), among the many things, I will remember my friends and shipmates by long after we part.

December 11, 2015

Blue, blue, blue, blue, blue

Janet Bering, 2nd Assistant Scientist

Oceans & Climate

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.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: c263  life at sea  styrocast • (5) CommentsPermalink

December 11, 2015

Of Stars, Sunrises, and Megafauna

Erin Jones, B Watch, Mount Holyoke College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Greetings landlubbers!

We’ve rounded East Cape of the North Island and are steadily making our voyage to Napier. With some balmy, high-pressure weather, we’ve soaked up some sun during the warm days and gazed upon the constellations displayed on the clear starry night skies.

December 10, 2015

All Downwind From Here

Faye Hubregsen, A Watch, Boston College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

The last twenty-four hours have been marked by strong winds as we make our way down the East coast of New Zealand toward Napier.  A Watch was particularly excited to discover, in preparation for our daily Navigation & Weather report, that as more seasoned sailors, we managed to have our rhumb run exceed our log run by 6 miles over the last 24 hours—an indication of efficient sailing.

December 10, 2015

New Study: Microbes on Marine Plastic Debris Differ by Ocean

Anne Broache,

SEA Semester

Microplastics—tiny fragments less than 5 millimeters in size—are now the most abundant form of ocean debris, prompting growing concerns from the public about the array of potential impacts on marine ecosystems. For SEA Semester faculty and students, one key line of research is better understanding the “Plastisphere,” the communities that colonize and thrive on these floating plastic islands.

A newly published scientific paper co-authored by SEA Semester Professor of Oceanography Dr. Erik Zettler reports an important finding: The make-up of the Plastisphere microbial communities appears to differ significantly on a global ocean basis. Notably, their analysis revealed genetic “signatures” that distinguish microbial communities found on plastic floating in Atlantic Ocean gyre environments from those found in the Pacific Ocean.

Categories: News, • Topics: research at sea  science  featured  plastics • (0) CommentsPermalink

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