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SEA Currents: News


December 08, 2014

Trans-Atlantic Magic

Sean S. Bercaw, Captain

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

As Captain, one may think that my job revolves around ‘driving the boat,’ but it’s more like being the choreographer of a complicated dance production. I’ve been fortunate to be the Captain for this undertaking, and what an undertaking it is – When we drop anchor tomorrow off Portsmouth, Dominica we’ll have sailed in excess of 3,200 nautical miles, averaging over 7 knots of ship speed to complete the 23-day transit. This accomplishment will have been made possible by the focused efforts of the entire crew – the scientists, mates, students, voyagers, sailing interns, engineers, steward,  and faculty – as we set, struck, or reefed sail over 330 times!!


December 08, 2014

Dunedin Doesn’t Disappoint

Eli Steiker-Ginzberg, B Watch, Oberlin College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Today marks our first full day in the city of Dunedin! And what a day it has been. This is the furthest south I or SEA has ever been. Some fun facts about this city: it houses the first University established in NZ and had the first botanic garden in this country. Dunedin is a very different city from Wellington and Auckland. This city has strong Scottish roots in its demographic and sports blatant European-inspired themes throughout the parts of the city we have seen thus far.


December 07, 2014

Field day, Afternoon watch, Annette and Whist

Kevin Murray, A Watch, 3rd Mate

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Hello! This is Kevin, the third mate of the SSV Corwith Cramer. I am lucky enough to have an opportunity to tell you all about life aboard the Cramer today! I am the watch officer for A watch, and we stood the six-hour afternoon watch today. Sunday is a busy day aboard the Cramer, because if you haven’t heard, we have field day in the afternoon. It involves candy, dance parties, music and cleaning the entire ship. The Cramer is much better off for all the hard work everyone put in to cleaning her today!


December 07, 2014

Welcome to Dunedin!

Roshni Mangar, A Watch, College of the Atlantic

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Today we arrived in Dunedin after six days at sea and it is so beautiful ! A Watch was on deck as we first sighted land on the Mid Watch. Bow watch was incredible, it was a full moon and there was a beautiful reflection of the light on the water. The air was a bit cold but the Dusky dolphins surrounding us made up for it. In the morning, it was all hands on deck in order to help with field day and docking the boat. In addition to field day,
A Watch cleaned the reefer because of the mishap with the eggs.


December 06, 2014

Furthest South

Becky Konijnenberg, B Watch, Amherst College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Today started out with a beautiful night shift for B Watch. Even at 1am it was rather light out because of the moon. Seeing a pod of dolphins follow our boat with the moon’s reflection always by our side was quite a sight. We did have some larger swells that were a little difficult to navigate, but all helmspeople did a fine job keeping the boat steady. The folks sleeping down below definitely appreciated it; today was one of the first nights in a few days that everybody was able to sleep through the swells.


December 06, 2014

Deep Thoughts from the Galley

Nina Murray, Steward

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Greetings! Your friendly steward here, reporting for blog duty. Sitting in the library as I write, the outside world floats by, visible only through the port hole. As the water streaks and sloshes across the round glass, it would be easy to imagine that I am just watching my laundry on its agitation cycle while lost in some little reverie, but that is improbable for several reasons. First, the luxury of a washing machine is still several hundred miles away.


December 05, 2014

Material Culture at Sea

Tyler Putman, B Watch, Maritime Voyager

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Who knew studying material culture could lead to such adventures? I’m a PhD student in the History of American Civilization Program in the Department of History at the University of Delaware, and I’m aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer as a Maritime Voyager. As a material culture historian, I study the things made and used by humans and the culture behind commonplace and unusual objects. Americans wore different sorts of clothing at different points in our history.


December 05, 2014

It’s a Swell day for Science

Kelsey Lane, 2nd Assistant Scientist & SEA Semester Alumna

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

It’s a swell day for science today on the Robert C. Seamans...just like any other day, except today the conditions have provided us a good southwest swell to keep us on our toes.  We had some strong winds this morning and it’s been gradually lying down, but the science deployment this morning was definitely sporty! The hydrocast rocked and rolled a bit in the swell. Our plankton net kept trying to surf in the waves. Dusky dolphins even came out to surf around the net and a seal pup was incongruously porpoising alongside, too.


December 04, 2014

Rub-a-Dub-Dub Tons of Seabirds in the Tub!

Breezy Grenier, A Watch, University of Rhode Island

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Starting with midnight ships time (since that’s when at least one watch starts their day), we had a very successful bat at science! It never ceases to amaze me how alive the ocean surface is when half the world is sleeping. Our Mid Watch science deployment typically consists of a Neuston tow and a surface station, collecting mysterious sea creatures that come up to feed at the surface waters at night. Tonight we caught pipe fish (see picture), flat fish larva, an ideal ctenophore specimen, a baby squid, as well as more jelly fish!


December 04, 2014

Finding Researcher’s Ridge

Annie Osborn, C Watch, Science Voyager

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

We forwent our regularly scheduled science stations yesterday. Instead of dropping our Secchi disk, free CTD, phyto net, and Neuston net in the morning, we charged forward, making miles early so that we could spend an extra few hours with science gear overboard in the afternoon and evening.

We sailed towards the Mid-Atlantic Ridge’s western side from the heart of its rift valley, a tight and narrow topographic feature bounded by almost incomprehensively steep, deep cliffs that plunge over two thousand meters vertically in a mere hundred horizontal meters. We sailed west, and set our sights toward an elusive shallow spot called Researcher’s Ridge.


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