SEA Currents: Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems
May 11, 2014
As I scroll through previous blog posts, I see yesterdays blog already started some Mothers Day shoutouts. But given the number of requests I had from shipmates all morning who knew I was writing todays blog (and who
also, ahem, reminded me today is Mothers Day), I can’t let my post go without giving a ginormous shoutout to all the mothers of all the sailors aboard Mama Cramer. Happy Mothers Day to all! Lots of good thoughts and love are flying toward you all from the North Atlantic Ocean.
May 10, 2014
The word sleep seems somewhat meaningless anymore. As we are coming down to the wire, students are fervently and faithfully chugging away at all of our assignments due as we hit the dock in New York. We have been reminded that as important as all of our school work is, this truly is the experience of a lifetime and we need to be here. That balance is a tough one to achieve and will probably be grossly undermined in the midst of our seemingly endless to do lists, but our efforts still persist.
May 09, 2014
It has been a momentous past few days aboard the Corwith Cramer. Todays and yesterdays weather were deceptively calm compared to the howling winds and 8-10ft seas we were greeted with last night. Weather does change fast at sea, particularly since we’ve left the tropics behind. The ever-changing conditions have been keeping us on our toes. Difficult to tell these days if its going to be hot and sunny or spraying and ominous when you wake up! In anticipation of the low pressure system we went through last night, we struck our mainsl and replaced it with a much smaller sail that is only set in high winds and rough seas - the storm trys’l.
May 08, 2014
As we continue our voyage north, we have all become well accustomed to the spills and thrills of life and sea, including, but not limited to dining on gimbaled tables, showering in big swells, and running PCR’s in a lab that seriously rocks. One thing I have yet to master is cooking at sea. Yesterday was “Staff in the Galley Day”, in which G Watch (Galley Watch) cautiously turned over the galley to the mates, deckhands, and scientists while they got some long overdue R&R. With my mom’s chicken pie recipe in mind, (no, not chicken pot pie. Just chicken, no veggies) I enthusiastically volunteered to make dinner.
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!