SEA Currents: Marine Biodiversity & Conservation
Dear loyal readers,
After almost a week of field trips in Bermuda we are now making our way home. One of the aspects of teaching at SEA Semester that I find most rewarding is the way that we routinely examine the intersections between history, policy, science and exploration, all in an inter-/multi- disciplinary setting. Our time in Bermuda this week was spent investigating how all of these threads come together in this unique part of the world.
After a week in Bermuda, Mama Cramer is back out to sea and we are headed to New York! This morning we had all hands on deck helping to prepare the ship before we left Bermuda. We made quite a mess during the port call, especially with all the dock lines out from yesterday, and it was time to clean, clean, clean! I felt like I was cleaning my house before leaving for vacation; there was sweeping, mopping, and scrubbing, along with coiling, hanging, and furling.
What a beautiful last day in Port! Unfortunately, the ferry to the dockyard was canceled due to gale force winds (Force 8), so we had to improvise for the class field trip. Instead, Mark, gave us a quick walking tour of St. Georges, discussing its history of maritime culture. We learned about Bermuda’s role in trade and got to visit the St George’s museum (a world heritage site).
Although we have only been here for about 5 days now, our routine morning stroll to the courtyard in St. George’s already feels instinctive to me. This morning we started off with a special treat from our amazing steward, Sabrina, …homemade bagels! She never fails to keep us full and happy, which is definitely a priority when your daily schedules are as packed as ours are.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the moments that led to this one. There is nothing like living on a boat for 22 days to make you think about time’s influence on your life. To think about prior moments and decisions that have led to this one. To think about the way that we got to this specific point in time.
Only just getting back to Mama Cramer at 2240 is a bit rough as my bed time is often 2 hours earlier. As I am writing this I am suffering from the satisfying exhaustion one only gets after a long day filled to the brim with great adventure. For me personally the day started off at 6:30 because I was the assistant steward this morning! And since it was our wonderful steward’s (Sabrina) day off I was assigned the task of slicing bananas and bread, as well as taking cereal from the cabinet to the breakfast buffet for all. Exhausting, I know.
Today was eventful to say the least! From touring a fellow academic sailboat, to being reunited with our Ocean Policy professor, there was a lot to do. Furthermore, it was our first full day in Bermuda, and consequently, our first full day off since the beginning of the sea component. Everyone’s day began together with another wonderful breakfast cooked by the lovely Sabrina. We then mustered (all met) on the quarter deck before being set free on the island.
Hello again friends!
This morning, we were awoken by the sound of crashing pots and pans and banging doors. The leftover dishes from the night before were flying across the galley counter and the closet door someone forgot to latch shut was swinging wildly out of control. The winds were strong, and the ship was rocking and rolling harder than it has in a while. “Karrin, this is your 6am wakeup. Breakfast in 20 minutes, watch in 50. Wear a jacket its cloudy and could rain.”
Those of you back home keeping up with the blog have become familiar with our regular watch standers – that is, the students and staff of A, B, and C watches. However, there is another group of people on board: collectively, we are known as the Others. We are the UARV pilot, Dylan, the Lab Hand, Kata, the fearless leaders Captain Jason and Chief Scientist Laura, the engineer, Kelly, our visiting scientist from the office, Georgie, and myself, the Steward.
Today we got hit with some winds (Force 5-6), a stark difference from the calm of yesterday. Though I’m still running off the high of going aloft yesterday (truly the most incredible view in the world – definitely a trip highlight), I couldn’t imagine climbing the mast in these waves, and the winds are only supposed to get stronger. That being said, I don’t have a lot of pictures so I’m just going to share this cool one from yesterday!