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Current position of the SSV Corwith Cramer. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the layer tools, top right, to change the map style or to view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

December 16, 2014

A Word (or two) from Engineering

Mickey Cavacas, Engineer

Above: Happy Holidays from the Corwith Cramer - note the small Christmas Tree just above the sign. Power for the twinkly lights courtesy of the Engineering Department! Below: Bello hot sauce provisions from our Dominica port stop.

Ship's Log

Noon Position
18°00.9’N x 63°03.2’W

Anchored in Great Bay, Philipsburg, St. Martin

Greetings blog readers! This is Mickey, the ship’s engineer here. Sorry in advance for how much I jump around during today’s blog post.

Back on November 23rd the other engineer aboard, Tanner gave a description of why engineers are needed onboard a sailing vessel, so I’ll just refer you all to that post for a refresher. Instead of rehashing that, I would like to give you a statistical overview of some engineering numbers for our Atlantic crossing.

In our 23 day crossing, we travelled just over 3200 nautical miles, a large majority of them under sail. In fact, we used the 500 HP Cummins diesel engine for 154 hours, getting us about 920 miles (which is usually motor-sailing, so we still had sails set). That is about 28% by motor-sailing, and 72% by just plain sailing, pretty good if you ask me! As Captain Sean mentioned several days back, we could have sailed the whole way if we wanted to, but due to promises made to the State Departments of various nations, we had a deadline to keep. To run the main engine and generators for those 23 days, we burned about 1500 gallons of diesel fuel.
This may seem like a lot, but it’s actually drops in a bucket compared to the amount of fuel burned by a cruise ship or cargo vessel crossing an ocean.

Besides fuel and engine statistics, I also keep track of water statistics. In 23 days, we as a ship used 11,400 gallons of water. This is about 15 gallons of water per person per day. Compare that number to the number the
average American uses in a day (my research claims 70-80 gallons per person per day), and you’ll see how great we are at conserving our resources at sea. As you may have guessed, we didn’t leave Gran Canaria with 11,400 gallons of water onboard, our tanks aren’t half that large. What we do have onboard are two reverse osmosis water purification systems that are each capable of making 800 gallons of water per day. We don’t run those machines constantly, but we do run them enough such that when we arrived in Dominica our tanks were full. So in the 23 day crossing where we used 11,400 gallons of water, we also made 11,400 gallons! Pretty darn cool!
Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean
In other news, a very good friend of mine and friend of the Corwith Cramer, Phoebe McGuire, joined ship’s company last night as our fourth sailing intern. Phoebe and I were students together back in 2010 on C-231, and she was kind enough to join us here in St. Martin for the final week of our voyage. Phoebe just crossed the Atlantic herself on the sailing vessel Moody Mistress and ended that voyage in St. Martin. Lucky for her and for us that we have been able to reunite!

Lastly, if you have been reading our blog carefully, you know that we have been lucky enough to eat several fresh fish this trip. In fact we have had 14 fish bite our fishing line, and 10 fish caught, all mahi (mahi). Out of those 10, a Majority were ‘catch and release’ due to size or gender, but we have eaten 3; 2 were between 10 and 15 pounds, and one was 40 pounds! All of these fish have been caught with a special lure that I have been dying to try for years, a dread-lock from a good friend. Shout-out to my good friend Lauren for supplying the dread-lock, I hope you’re a believer now and I can’t wait to tell you more about it!

Best wishes to all family and friends back home,


Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by roseann velez on December 18, 2014

Dear Missy and Crew,

Love the pic and the Christmas tree!  So glad you are enjoying your time on the islands; it is fascinating how you operate your beautiful ship.  Sailing may become my new hobby. 

Buenos noches,
mama velez



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