SEA Currents: Marine Biodiversity & Conservation
It was a wonderful last full day in NYC as we got to explore behind-the-scenes of the New York Aquarium on Coney Island. After meeting with Dr. Merry Camhi, director of the New York Seascape project, and sharing research and observations from our survey of the Hudson Canyon, we headed off on a tour of the upcoming shark exhibit’s construction site. We looked pretty sharp and safe in our hard hats and reflective vests.
Inexpresable. If I could describe today in one word, it would be inexpresable. Our day was filled with realizations and puffy eyes as we navigated through the busy waters of New York City harbor. Realizations that today was our last day underway aboard the Corwith Cramer, that these could be our last sweats on the braces, our final sail firls, dawn watch, lookout and helm time. It was with a sense of accomplishment, excitement, and sadness that we docked at 0800 in Brookline Harbor, knowing that this was not a port stop, that we would be departing with all of our things in less than two days.
If you had told me a year ago that I’d be spending this morning standing at the helm of a tall ship sailing towards New York, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. Even if I had, I would have been very confused by the route my life had taken.
And yet, here I am. We’ll be pulling into New York about half a day from now. While we still have not sighted land, the signs of it approaching are gradually building-from the slight glow of the far off lights on evening watch Saturday to the more frequent crackling of the radio from the doghouse as I settle in to sleep underneath it.
What a day on the Cramer! This is about to be a long blog, but I deemed it necessary to try to capture all that this day had to offer, so stick with me. Though every day has its excitement here on board, today was something to remember. We spent the day in the Hudson Canyon, the largest submarine canyon along the US Atlantic Coast, rivaling the depth and scale of the Grand Canyon, just southeast of New York City.
We got the opportunity to participate in the New York Seascape program, a program working to connect New York residents to their nearby ocean.
Growing up in Cleveland has made me someone who is not easily phased by sudden or unexpedcted changes in whether. I have often seen a week that included clear skies with warm sun, dark and looming thunderstorms, sudden hail, snow flurries, and a mild tornado. But today I experienced the true North Atlantic Ocean, full of sun, squalls, freezing winds, and waves that engulfed our floating home. C watch took the deck at 0645 in the morning, all decked out in our endless layers of warmth and full foulie garb, ready for the frigid morning ahead.
As the Corwith Cramer’s engineer I’d like to invite you all to follow along and catch a glimpse into an average day taking care of our little floating community.
First things first, upon waking up in the morning I take a stroll around the engine room to make sure everything is operating as it should be.
Today was another exciting day aboard the Cramer! I woke up this morning and had some extra delicious blueberry muffins for breakfast. I had morning watch this morning and today I was finally in lab, the first time since leaving Bermuda. Usually when I enter the lab, I always glance to the little shelf near the port side porthole where the cool specimens from the previous evening’s science station are kept so everyone can see them. I was especially excited once I walked into the lab this morning because I saw a creature that I didn’t even know existed- a Paper Nautilus.
We are sailing once again. Leaving Bermuda was a bittersweet and strange experience. It is hard to describe the feeling of seeing an entire country fade into the horizon as our ship moved further and further into an ever-encompassing cerulean sea. What seemed like an immense and bustling country suddenly lost its grandeur as it shrunk to non-existence behind us. Out here, everything seems both monumental and minuscule.
My days onboard are more or less the same; at 0600 I get a wakeup for breakfast, which I inevitably ignore until 0700 when the second seating of breakfast is served. I’ll wander around haphazardly until 1000, when the ship goes hove to for morning station. I get my dipnet, my buckets, the saltwater hose and begin staring out at the sea for the next two hours, hoping to catch a glimpse of tiny spots of gold flecked among the vast expanses of blue water.
You have heard about the experiences from all of the students so now I’m going to give you my experience from the perspective of a staff member here aboard the Cramer.
When I told my friends and family that I was going to live on a boat for six weeks back in 2014 they thought I was crazy.