SEA Currents: News
October 30, 2014
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.
October 29, 2014
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;
October 29, 2014
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.
October 28, 2014
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.
October 27, 2014
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.
October 27, 2014
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.
October 26, 2014
Today marks our first full day underway headed toward the magical land of NEW ZEALAND!! Who’s to say what this crazy new land may hold for the crew of the Robert C. Seamans? We’re headed almost dead due south for Auckland now which is also where our wind happens to be coming from, making our sailing transit a bit difficult since we cant sail directly into the wind. However, students are nailing their time at the helm with any steering challenges this may throw them. I can’t wait to see where the next 2 weeks take us (other than Auckland, of course) as we all strap on our sailing pants and head out for our longest sea leg.
October 26, 2014
For the past few weeks, we have been assuming various roles on watch such as helmsman, lookout, science labbie, etc., and getting a feel for each of them. Each position contributes to the overall success of the ship, so it is important to for us to become proficient in every role. My favorite job while on watch is lookout. Contrary to what we expected before departing Woods Hole, there are not many other boats sailing or motoring within our sight, so a lot of our time as lookout is spent with our thoughts.
October 25, 2014
On board the Cramer, we students spend almost all of our time together: sitting in class, standing watch, working in the lab, eating meals, playing cards, perfecting our hot chocolate-Nutella-Fluff concoctions. We all love our ship family, but we also all need a little alone time every once in a while, which isn’t exactly easy to come by. However, if we are assigned to bow lookout during watch, we are afforded a nice hour-long period of solitude. When we stand bow watch, we keep our eyes peeled for other ships along the horizon.
October 24, 2014
As we begin thinking about setting sail for Auckland tomorrow, there are lists all over the boat to help us get underway, ranging from the Captain’s list (I’m imagining it includes important things like clearing customs,
plotting our course, and getting a good night’s rest, among other things) to the steward’s list for provisioning (my fingers are crossed that fresh okra, pineapple, and tomatoes make their merry way onto the Seamans) to the engineers’ list (it probably includes things like “efficiently dribble oil on machinery” and “turn on things that make lots of noise” and “share weird facts with the rest of the ship”)...