Ready for an adventure with a purpose? Request info »
  • Search SEA Semester, Summer and High School Programs
  • View SEA Semester campus visit calendar

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

October 16, 2018

At Anchor (Not Much Longer!)

Carol Ruffini, University at Albany


Chief Mate Rebecca inspects the Mains'l as we set sail.

Ship's Log

Noon Position
41o30.‘N x 071o14’W

Sakonnet River, Rhode Island




Surface Temperature/Salinity
18oC / 31.72 PSU

Souls on board

Good afternoon from all of us aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer! Today is an exciting day. Although we have been anchored for our first few nights of the cruise, we anticipate to be underway in a few hours.  This means that everyone on the ship, such as the professional crew, students, and scientists will be working diligently to keep us afloat and safe until we finally set anchor at Grenada in the Caribbean after 2000 miles of sailing upon the open ocean.

While at anchor, the crew and students are responsible for Anchor Checks every half hour alongside our hourly boat checks. While conducting boat checks we are smelling, listening and looking for things amiss, checking the safety equipment, and making sure engine room functions are working as they should. Anchor checks, however, are to ensure our anchor isn't dragging under the stress of tough weather and tough wind/water speeds. This is important because we wouldn't want to drift into land, shallower water, or a rock without knowing. Once we get underway, if the trip goes as planned, we won't be doing any anchor checks until we make it to the Caribbean.

Lots of students like me haven't had any sailing experience until now, and we have been learning so much in such a short amount of time. Today I helped my watch prepare and fold the storm trys'l, a large triangular shaped sail, to be flown later this evening. Everyone is rushing to learn their lines the quickest, since there is to be a competition between the watches on our knowledge.

Our watch got to hang out in Science with 3rd Assistant Scientist Anna. We learned how to take surface water using a black plastic bucket on a rope, and how to put samples of the water through a spectrophotometer to measure its pH. We also learned how to measure the amount of Chlorophyll-A  in a water sample by placing a filter on a vacuum pump, and funneling our sample water down through the filter. The concentration of Chlorophyll-A may help us understand how much primary productivity is in an area.  It was awesome to see the small, white filter change to a pale green relatively fast.

Our Steward Shanna and her helpers have prepared the most delicious food. Today we had egg burrito wraps for breakfast, raspberry oat bars for a snack, and hearty minestrone soup with freshly baked bread for lunch. It's a delight to enjoy food together here, and the tables are gimbaled to keep our noodles from flying everywhere. Nino spotted a special sort of cloud called a Halo, a rainbow curving above the sun. We're all excited to learn and grow. Shout out to mom, dad, Andrew, and good friends Dan and Tim.

- Carol Ruffini, C-Watch, University at Albany

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: c282  ssv corwith cramer  american samoa • (6) Comments
Previous entry: Underway (for a little while)    Next entry: And We’re Off!


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

#1. Posted by Kaitlin Ruffini on October 17, 2018

Bon Voyage Carol And Crew!! Enjoy your views from the open sea! We are all living vicariously through you! xo Love Kaitlin, Frank and Warren

#2. Posted by Brenda Parks-Arms on October 17, 2018

Congrats to all especially the newbies as you head out on this exciting adventure and learning experience. Ally Abad we are so proud of you and know that you’ll be a great asset while learning more of the ocean and sailing the open seas. Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you as you sail out and away! Brenda & grandson Jacob

*Ally-we were so sad and sorry to hear that the special Tall Ship card we sent didn’t make it. Hopefully it will be in your mail and maybe you’d like to have other shipmates sign it as a bit of memorabilia!

#3. Posted by Mollie Kabler on October 18, 2018

Happiest Alaska Day to Heartbreak!  We are thinking of you today as always on the holiday. It is a beautiful day for a parade! Best to honorary Alaskan Steve too. Much love from 705!

#4. Posted by Susan D Everett on October 21, 2018

Bon Voyage Carol thanks for you for filling us in on what you have been up to. My daughter Ally is your research partner so I’m assuming she was right there with you during the time you just wrote about. Can’t wait to hear more from your other shipmates.

#5. Posted by Mae Mae on October 21, 2018

Hi Carol!!!! (Hi everyone!!!) Carol, thank you for mentioning the food. Mom is absolutely obsessing about you and she keeps updating everyone on the wind speed and how many ft seas (what does that even mean?). Anyway, I think it helped her to know that you were properly fed. I hope you’re having the time of your life! I miss you like crazy! - Mae Mae

#6. Posted by Andrew on October 29, 2018

Hey Ishmael (Ruffini),
Hope you’re having the most amazing trip! Missing you lots and keeping you in mind all the time. Can’t wait to hear all about what you’ve learned and seen out there!
P.S. Watch out for giant whales - I hear they bite.



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

I would like SEA to keep me informed about news and opportunities.