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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Apr 2017


April 21, 2017

Cramer Gybes and Students’ First Dip Net!

Paige Petit, A Watch, College of the Holy Cross

Marine Biodiversity & Conservation

Greetings, all!

After spending a few hours feeling nauseous at every trip below decks yesterday, it is amazing that I was able to spend most of my 6 hour watch as the dish assistant today in the galley! It feels great to (hopefully) be acquiring some sea legs, of course attributing most credit to medicine, a full belly, and a hydrated body. As a “newbie” aboard the Cramer, the crew is nothing but kind and positive.


April 20, 2017

Going Further Than Ever Before

Abigael Malcolm, C watch, College of Charleston

SEA Semester

The S-272 crew has found themselves in the remnants of yet another significant weather system. This time Tropical Cycle Cook detoured from the shores of New Zealand, its original track, and skirted further west as we continued our journey north.

Although the same intense winds, rain, and sea conditions were present just as with Cyclone Debbie, the thought of facing this weather seemed less daunting. Our three weeks spent on the Robert C. Seamans has conditioned us to expect the unexpected, and with more responsibility being placed on us each day, we all faced the weather with a new confidence I don’t think we had just two weeks ago.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: None • (2) CommentsPermalink

April 20, 2017

Getting our SEA legs

Kata Rolf, Labhand, C259 Alumna

SEA Semester

Hello dedicated blog readers,

It has been a little over twenty four hours since we got underway, and what an exciting time it has been! We’ve set and struck sails, experienced at least three of the ship’s ranges of motion, felt queasy, taken more anti-seasickness medication, deployed our first Neuston tow, and made it through the first of what will be many watches to come.

The students are all enthusiastic and eager to experience everything that the ship has to offer, from cleaning dishes in the galley to watching dolphins interrupt yet another afternoon class. This is not my first time on the ship, but it is my first time not standing a watch. I have become what they call an “other” (someone who does not have a rigid schedule the way most other people on board do), and I find myself thinking more so on this trip than past adventures about what it was like to experience everything for the first time.


April 19, 2017

Off to a great start!

Laura Cooney , Chief Scientist

SEA Semester

Hello friends and family,

Today was an exciting day on board the SSV Corwith Cramer!

The day started bright and early with 6 am wake-ups for A watch and 6:40 am wake-ups for B and C watches, and it’s been a steady stream of new experiences and important training for the students-turned-crew of class C-273 ever since.


April 19, 2017

Peace and Chicken Grease

SEA Semester

Hello there all you land folk and loved ones. 

This is Lauren, the steward, here. 

I’ve been feeding all of your wonderful people on this trip so far, but today was a very special day for everyone onboard, but for me in particular.  The whole staff decided to take over my job for the day and each of them chose their own dish and meal to make for us, so we had 13 different people cooking for us today.  And what a day it was!  Beignets and brownies, toasties and tagines, cappuccinos and date bars!  No one went hungry today.  No one goes hungry any day actually.


April 18, 2017

Day 1000 of having songs from Moana stuck in my head

Sammi Chaves, A Watch, Wheaton College, MA

SEA Semester

What a busy couple of weeks we have had! This blog would be way too long if I attempted to cover everything so I’m JUST going to talk about yesterday! Yesterday was finally my day to be assistant to the stewards! I spent a lot of my day in the galley helping prepare meals. Breakfast was savory muffins, smoothies, and grapefruit. Snack #1: Apples and PB and Nutella. Lunch was slow roasted pork, pesto pasta, and salad. Snack number #2 was baked brie but I didn’t get to help with that because it was during class time. Dinner was my favorite! We served Krabby Patties (Kelp Patties for the vegetarians), and fries! The food here, as I mentioned in my last post, is incredible! There was a lot of singing going on in the galley and main saloon yesterday. Lauren the head steward was teaching me a beautiful song about sailing that hopefully we will be able to sing together in the coming weeks.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: None • (2) CommentsPermalink

April 18, 2017

MBC Program C-273 Begins Aboard SSV Corwith Cramer

Jason Quilter, Captain

SEA Semester

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.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, • Topics: None • (3) CommentsPermalink

April 17, 2017

Looking out and other (disjointed) musings

Sophia Tigges, A Watch, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

SEA Semester

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

Happy Easter from the Robert C. Seamans

Nate Bears, Engineer

SEA Semester

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.

- Nate


April 15, 2017

Aloft for Rig Inspection, Moving into Phase 2

Ross Robinson, 3rd Mate

SEA Semester

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.

- Ross


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