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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

Gracie Ballou, University of Vermont

Greetings from Bermuda! It’s our tenth day-no wait, our third day in Bermuda?! The students had yesterday afternoon off, some ventured away to find Wi-Fi, others explored the small town of St. George’s where we are docked. A handful of us took a taxi to Clearwater bay to explore the beaches and parks. From the center of St. George’s we caught two cabs to Clearwater Beach, which is on the other side of the bay. If you have heard anything about Bermuda it is probably one of two things: the beautiful beaches and the extremely nice people.

Mika Tan, Middlebury College

Today began our weeklong series of tours in Bermuda, starting with the organization that helped coordinate our safe entry into St. George’s harbor: Bermuda Radio.

Bermuda Radio operates 24/7, 365 days a year to coordinate all ship traffic, respond to maritime emergencies, and update weather/seas conditions for the waters in and around Bermuda.

Chelan Pauly, Whitman College

Good evening! Our good friend Robbie, and resident Bermudian on the Cramer, taught us that some version of the phrase “good morning” “good afternoon” or “good evening” is the required salutation to keep in style and good standing with the local people. In our first 6 hours of free time on solid ground, it has proven itself true. Bermudian culture is surprisingly formal but following proper manners results in overwhelmingly friendliness… smiles, waves, and greetings for all.

Allison Work, Whitman College

Just as we’re finally catching on to this whole life-at-sea thing, we’re thrown a new curveball: arrival in Bermuda! We are here one day early according to our itinerary, mainly because we made good time from San Juan and the weather forecast isn’t looking great for the next couple of days. We receive daily weather faxes while out at sea, so we’ve been tracking the southward progress of a significant cold front coming south from the East Coast. Predicted high winds and seas didn’t sound particularly peachy next to the option of an extra day in a calm port, so we motor sailed out of yesterday’s hove to position into Bermuda this afternoon.

Mandy Camp & Callie Bateson, Stetson University & Rollins College

So, you have all heard about our science, but what is ship life really like? What do we do on “watch”? Our watch rotation is a means of keeping tabs on our progress and safety aboard the Corwith Cramer. There are two six-hour day shifts and three four-hour night shifts in a 24 hour period. A watch group typically is responsible for one day shift and one night shift, and these rotate in a three day cycle. So, on Monday you may have watch from 0700-1300, and then again from 2300-0300.

Kiah Walker, Williams College

As there have been large swells all day today, we are currently “hove to,” meaning that the sails are set such that we are not using them to make forward progress. Rather, they are helping to keep us steady while we ride out the rolling seas and strong winds, which fortunately happen to be helping us drift toward Bermuda. We are due to arrive in port in just a few days!

Tony Hoffman | Robert Barlow, UAS Design Engineer, UARV Pilot | High School - Intern (Archimedes Aerospace LLC)

Others” rise and shine to your 06:00 wakeup call. The Cramer moved through the night on diesel not wind, this did not keep us from catching a few greatly needed Z’s.  As soon as breakfast was set, Captain gave the order for an early morning Unmanned Aerial Research Vehicle activity. The winds were calm and the sea was quiet. So preparations were underway for a second flight.  A host of preflight checklist items being tended to by Robert, Archimedes Aerospace’s Intern and ‘C’ Watch member.

Zachary Bourgault, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

‘A’ watch awoke for the morning shift from a very sleepless night. The large swells had us rocking in our bunks to the sound of quickly shifting galley appliances throughout the night. Mustering the will to concentrate, we went about our duties on deck and in lab. Stood down at 1300, we quickly ate a delicious lunch before preparing for today’‘s special 1430 class.

Torey Bowser, University of Maine

Time is beginning to tick down to our Bermuda deadline. Team Phyllo (my team) has begun extracting DNA from the phyllosoma collected in the net tows. Unfortunately our crispy critters are taking longer to break down than expected. Hopefully we will be done in time for Team Lepto to start working on extracting from their eels.

Connor Dixon, Whitman College

A Guide to Avoiding Sunburn and Surviving the Ocean
In the subtropical wilderness, the pale Seattlite may soon become a grotesque shade of burgundy if certain steps are not taken. Although at first unbelievable, a person may find shade scarce among the ocean. Despite its vastness, I have yet to find a tree or other source of shelter in the high seas beyond the boat that brought us here. As such, I have set about creating a survival guide for the Northwesterner in this most inhospitable environment.

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