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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

November 29, 2018

At sea, it’s a lifestyle

Hannah Stevens, Smith College


Above: deploying the water sampling carousel; below: furling the jib in the head rig.

Ship's Log

Souls on board

Hello Friends!

Today was filled with sails and science! At 1300 the Cramer, having logged 85.5 nautical miles, was positioned at about 11˚26.8’N x 61˚37.9’W.  Wind and waves came from ESE and wind speeds were about 7-10 knots.  The sky was filled with altocumulus clouds but on deck it was pretty hot with a temperature of 30˚C.

On board there is always a watch awake to make sure the ship is running properly but I began my day at 0600 with nice morning wakeup from one of my shipmates.  At 0620 my watch among others ate a filling breakfast in the main salon.  Even though we have had quite a few meals, my classmates and I are still getting used to the gimbled tables, Ger constantly reminds us not to lean on them.  By 0700 Ryanne, Maria and I were in the lab getting briefed on lab plans for today.  Bonny, our Assistant Scientist walked us through the different steps and stations that were going to take place during our Watch.  At the beginning of lab we started processing the neuston net tow that was collected during Mid-Watch. In this tow we saw juvenile flying fish, a brittle star, fish larvae and plastic; under the microscope we saw copepods, Halobates (a type of marine insect that skates along on the sea surface!), hyperiid amphipods along with many other organisms.  As the day continued, Bonny taught us how to properly deploy the neuston net tow, the phytoplankton net tow and the carousel to collect temperature and salinity data. She also showed us how to collect a surface water sample for nutrients and chlorophyll-a concentration.  As each of these instruments went in the water, the three of us learned which things were important to record during different stages of the process. 

When watch ended at 1300 lunch was served in the main salon.  There was chicken, rice and stir fry veggies!  I was very hungry and happy to eat after being on my feet and in the sun for so long.  After lunch I took a short nap in the shade on deck before the all hands meeting/class on the quarterdeck.  During this time there was a weather, science, and a navigation report along with general announcements.  It was nice to see and chat with my other classmates; we don’t get to see each other as much since we are split up into different Watches. 

After the meeting I had downtime! My shipmates use this as time to sleep, eat, shower, talk with friends who are not on watch and r e l a x.  My next watch is from 2300-0300 so it’s smart to get some rest before being up in the middle of the night.  Our next destination on our cruise track is Tobago Cays; there we will continue our reef surveys and collect more data.  As you can see, days are pretty busy on the Cramer and they will continue to get busier!  Before coming aboard I didn’t know what to expect; I knew it was going to be a lot of hard work and challenging, and wow was I right.  But it has also been so much fun! I know this is something I will remember for the rest of my life because I feel that an opportunity like SEA Semester doesn’t come around very often.  I have already learned so much and there is still so much more for me to learn but I’m ready for it!  Even though we have not been at sea for long, I have realized even more that we are all so, so small in this ocean that is so, so big.  Whenever I can, I take a second to stop and feel the motion of the ocean as it rocks me with the waves. I am excited to see what the rest of this is voyage brings me.

Fair winds and following seas; sending laughter, love and happiness back home.

- Hannah Stevens, Smith College

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Caribbean Reef Expedition, • Topics: c283  study abroad  life at sea • (2) Comments


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 Alex Hackworth on November 30, 2018

Awe Hannah I miss you!

#2. Posted by Mary Stevens on December 01, 2018

Thanks for the info!  Sounds so fabulous!! Xox



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