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
This blog entry comes to you from the Eastern Atlantic! The SSV Corwith Cramer made the highly anticipated passage through the Strait of Gibraltar today. Though it was hard to say goodbye to the Western Mediterranean we are very excited to become well acquainted with new waters.
B watch was awakened at 0600 for first breakfast. One by one we made our way to the deck to check out the weather before getting dressed for the day.
After a clear cool night watch from 1900-2300, during which we enjoyed calm waters and intermittently clear skies (perfect for learning new stars and constellations taught by our watch officer, Scott), we were awakened at 0600 by B watch for breakfast and our next watch that began at 0700. We were given the word that our foul weather gear would be needed. It is this quick and ever changing weather that we here on the Cramer are beginning to become accustomed to. After a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs and pita bread, C-watch took the deck.
Happy Columbus Day everyone! In honor of this nautical-based holiday it seems like Neptune has decided to be especially kind to us this day. The weather has significantly improved from yesterdays gushing winds and thrashing waves, leaving only a nice light breeze and calm seas. Even the wake up at 0230 for our dawn watch from 0300 to 0700 seemed almost natural as our bodies have begun to adapt to the new routine at sea. Then again it could also be the simple fact that we have gotten better at throwing our bodies out of our bunks upon hearing the soft calling of those on watch or the anticipation to see what new poem Chuck has in store for us in the lab night orders.
At 0200 this morning I was standing at the helm of a 27.18 meter steel brigantine sailing vessel in the Mediterranean. My watch mates Maggie and Amie were quizzing each other on the proper order of events that need to occur in order to set and strike different sails while our watch officer Scott was making sure all our sailing-related questions were answered and occasionally drawing our attention up to the stars. We learned that Deneb, our beloved house on the SEA campus in Woods Hole, was named after one of the navigational stars in a formation called the summer triangle.
Field Day and the Prime Meridian
Every day on the Corwith Cramer is a special day, but today could have been the most exciting yet. It began as a normal day does, each watch following their standing orders. However, there was a note written in the Night Order Log telling the dawn watch NOT to turn on Roxy (the galley’s trusty stove) at 0330 when she is usually “woken up.”
Today was an exciting day for all of us! The wind picked up, there was a lot of science to do and we had a fire drill during class. Throughout our watches the weather had picked up making our jobs on board a little more difficult. Dinner was interesting as our gimbaling tables were tilting about 30°. Half of us were sitting at a very low table and the other half had their plates up near their mouths! Being on deck now meant we had to be more cautious and the bow became the splash zone when the wind and waves picked up.
Ahoy from the Mediterranean! We have now been on the SSV Corwith Cramer for eleven days, and yet today was only our fourth day spent off the dock. Now on our nine-day passage to the historic waters of Cadíz, we are jumping straight into the routine of life at sea. Since casting off from Mallorca yesterday, we have had safety training to go aloft into the rigging, attended classes on the quarterdeck and in the main salon, put our developing sail handling skills to work, and deployed many different pieces of scientific equipment.
Barcelona and Mallorca
We have finished our first two port stops and put to sea again for a nine-day stretch through the Straits of Gibraltar to our next stop at Cadiz, on the Atlantic coast of Spain. This gives us some time to ponder what we‘ve learned and start to put it together in papers and daily discussions on the ship. Our program, The Global Ocean, is built around the Ocean Health Index, a series of ten metrics designed by conservation organizations to consider how we might begin to measure human impacts on coastal areas and the marine environment.
Today we had a fantastic tour around Mallorca. We started our day by hopping on a bus ride to the Castell de Bellver. Not to mention, we were accompanied by our lovely tour guide Maite. When we reached the castle, I was awed by its unique geometry. Standing at 109m tall, it is the only circular castle in Spain. While it was built by James II as a fortress for the island, it is now widely used for weddings, concerts and even a playground for kids. And of course, being tourists, we managed to snap a group photo in front of it before we left.
Day 1 in Mallorca
The moon shone a bright orange through the wisps of clouds as A Watch headed to the deck for dawn watch at 0300. We sailed straight ahead to Mallorca at course order 180º. After completing a 100-count sample with Merry and Maya that was filled with turquoise copepods and other obscure zooplankton, we walked outside to assist the deck watch. I assumed the role as a second pair of eyes beside Courtney who was on lookout. As the distance between the SSV Corwith Cramer and the coast of Mallorca decreased, it became more difficult to distinguish between city lights and smaller boats in the bay.