Current position of the SSV Corwith Cramer. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers.
SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
We all knew this moment was coming. As the sun set over the East River, those of us leaving tomorrow began packing our belongings and cleaning our bunks. I can hardly believe that we’ve concluded our voyage already; the Cramer became our home, and it’s hard to leave such a familiar place behind and to readjust to the rhythms of life on land.
We made it through New York Harbor! With last night’s sunset it dawned on us how close we were to land. Our lookout began report lights off the port and starboard bow and suddenly we realized we were sailing straight towards an expansive Long Island. Having heard the light pollution of the city is cause for some beautiful sunsets, all the ship’s company stood on the port side and watched as the lights faded through yellows, pinks, and reds, and finally the sun disappeared in the haze on the horizon.
I can’t explain how much this leg has opened my eyes to certain things. Leaving Bermuda was pretty interesting. Sailing on a much larger scale of ship is pretty amazing and unique. From previous tall ship experiences “Mama Cramer” takes the cake on how slow she is at her top speed of 7 knots, but she’s pretty sweet. Sailing into open water gave me that thrilling rush, teaching me what to expect in upcoming days.
We’ve whipped our way out of Bermuda, wearing a little extra paint off of our starboard side from the steady port tack. After sailing for the last four days set for maximum sail area, the trip towards the coast has been pushing a zesty seven or eight knots. After taking our stop ashore and watching the little island of Bermuda fade into the distance, it has strange to take in how familiar and consistent the ocean can sometimes be.
The wind has picked up and there are sizeable swells today - not the smooth, sunny conditions we’ve enjoyed since leaving Bermuda. It’s just after lunch and conditions may be classified as “sporty” as we approach the counter-current of the Gulf Stream - about Force 7 on the Beaufort Scale.
Three days out from Bermuda. I’ve found that the first three days out from port prove to be the most taxing, both mentally and physically, as we have to readjust to the watch schedule, motion of the ocean, and extreme self-containment of sea life. That said, tomorrow is looking up. After a long dawn watch and 3 total hours of sleep last night I’m more than ready to sleep from 0100 to 1100 tonight after evening watch.
We left Bermuda only two days ago but time is flying by now that we are back in the Sargasso Sea. We start our third and final phase today: Junior Officer. JWO (Junior Watch Officer) and JLO (Junior Lab Officer) mean that one student or sailing intern are in charge of the procedures during the watch and they basically act as the current mate. My first chance is tonight during dawn watch where I’ll be in charge of the lab during B watch’s first meter tow.
This morning C watch had the pleasure of being on watch for our departure from Bermuda. We were able to sail out of St. George’s (without motoring—a first for even our Captain), and I was lucky enough to be posted on bow watch as we coasted through the channel. From there I was able to look back and see everybody hustling to set sail, and able to wave to everyone who came out to see us depart! It was so satisfying to see the jib and stays’ls come back up, followed by the tops’l and the mains’l.
Today is the last full day that we spend in Bermuda and we spent a lot of it getting Mama Cramer clean and beautiful, so she can carry us to New York tomorrow. With time throughout the week to explore Bermuda, I was able to converse with many locals about their ideas on the current states of the ocean and what they think about current policies.
Yet another beautiful day in Bermuda! Today we got to go to the Aquarium and learn more about Bermuda’s unique marine ecosystem! They had a few radical exhibits, including one about the Sargasso Sea! Alex, Kendra, and I geeked out at the hydroid section of the poster because that is what our experiments are on- check out that Clytia species (surprisingly not noloformis) and that Aglaophenia latecarinata!