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. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
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
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 23, 2014
200 miles southwest of Cadiz, the wind is cool and dry from the northeast, almost dead astern as we steer our course towards Madeira. The motion is easy, and it’s quiet below. The miles tick by in what has easily been the best sailing run in the trip so far.
Around us, a river of ships comes and goes from the Strait of Gibraltar. Here in open sea, we spot one or two an hour, but our AIS screen shows hundreds, like spilled grains of rice.
October 22, 2014
Today we’ve had our best wind yet with a steady northeasterly wind that has carried us almost exactly one hundred nautical miles today according to our taffrail log. This is especially impressive given the fact that we were hove to for more than two hours this morning collecting samples. Our morning science station consisted of the regular deployment of Secchi Disk, carousel, Reeve net, and Neuston tow. Our departure from Cadiz yesterday, sailing into the Atlantic under our four lowers past the morning ferries, marked the beginning of phase two of our leadership and nautical science courses.
October 21, 2014
“Not a single British ship sank – both the Spanish and French were devastated, and far worse than the battle was the storm that followed… but at least we got Admiral Nelson.”
Such was spoken candidly by an archeological specialist at the Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Historico Centro de Arqueologia Subacuatica, during our first day in Cádiz. On this date, 209 years ago, the royal British naval fleet sailed in a V-formation (a noted specialty of Admiral Horatio Nelson’s) to separate the two lines of ships constituted by the Spanish and French naval forces.
October 20, 2014
Visiting different places in Spain by boat gives us a great perspective on the diversity of this nation. In Barcelona, they spoke Catalan rather than Spanish. In Palma, they lived on island time and had villages and agricultural terraces built into the cliffs. In Cádiz, they speak with an accent that sounds like a gentle lisp, and a short bus drive inland reveals deeply colored rolling farmland and bulls with big horns. Tomorrow, we leave the dock and head for Madeira, a Portuguese island!
October 19, 2014
As I sit in the Main Salon, waiting to relieve Amie as the dock watch-stander at 0200, I have begun to reminisce on the events of days passed, and what an amazing adventure this has been thus far. From sailing through the Strait of Gibraltar with a flock of flamingos leaving us on our port side, to making new Spanish friends and sharing drinks and tapas together, this has truly been a once in a lifetime experience. And now I sit alone in the Main Salon, tasked with the job of writing the blog for today’s events.
October 18, 2014
This morning after a tasty breakfast of eggs and bacon, we left the port and headed to the Museum of Cadiz at 1030. We looked at artifacts from the Phoenician period dating back to 1100 BC including jewelry with intricate designs, handmade beads, and pottery. The next area in the museum was about the Roman city of Gades, which is underneath modern Cadiz, and we got to look at items that have been excavated, including a portion of the aqueduct. Greg and I have been working on a research project about the Roman remains in Cadiz, so it was really cool to actually see it firsthand and to talk with the archeologist from the University of Cadiz.
October 17, 2014
There are not many better ways to wake up on the Cramer than to French toast and the promise of CADIZ. After coming into the port in dense fog and slightly rainy but very picturesque weather, we docked around 1030 Spanish time. Everyone enjoyed a quick recuperation and shower hour before setting off for our very busy day in southwest Spain.