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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

February 24, 2014

C251 Web Blog - 24 February 2014

Colby Schindel


Deploying the secchi disk during morning station.

Ship's Log

Current location
16° 37.7’‘N x 62° 22.0’‘W
6 knots
course ordered: Full and bye. Course steered 165 per ships compass (PSC)
wind ExS, beaufort force 4. Cumulus clouds covering 2/8ths of the sky. Temperature 27°C

To say this trip is anything less than extraordinary would be a huge understatement.  When I think ahead to the unfortunate time when this is all over, and how I could even possibly begin to describe this experience to anyone, I cannot come up with words to express it.  From day one, we wasted no time getting right into the swing of things, having to not only learn, but also get 100% acquainted with a completely newest of nautical vocabulary.  However, as time went on, the daily tasks and chores, which there is no shortage of, no longer seemed like a to-do list.  Everything just kind of blends together.  I no longer see time in terms of hours and days—although it is easy to count hours while you are standing bow watch at 2:30am, getting blasted with waves—but out here it seems almost like one long day.  There is never a time when the boat sleeps, so consequently, there is never a time when everyone sleeps.  At all hours of the day a watch is expected to be up and fulfilling their duties. 

Today started out briskly at 0600 with a friendly wake up, telling us that we have watch in 40 minutes.  We dragged ourselves out of bed, and after a great breakfast, made our way to deck to relieve the I’‘m sure weary C-watch.  Our watch today was based heavily on the sciences, having several deployments and collections to do.  The crew is beyond helpful, and helps you every step of the way, gradually giving us more and more responsibility to perform these tasks ourselves.  After the deployments, which went off without a hitch, it was back to the quarterdeck to await new orders from our first mate.  We sailed along smoothly, without much action.  We even had time to begin learning how to use the sextant and shoot the sun.  Pretty soon orders came in from the higher ups (the captain) that we were to tack, a procedure in which you turn the bow of the boat into the wind in hopes of turning the boat to get better wind.  This is no easy feat seeing how, as just said, we have to take the bow of the boat INTO the wind.  Well, I am happy to say, that due to our proficiency and knowledge of the lines and boat handling that we were able to carry out this function and continue sailing right on course. 

Each day for me is met with new thrills and each task is looked at as something to conquer, not just do.  I again, cannot begin to describe everything, because there is not only too much to write here, but this is truly an experience unlike anything I or anyone really has ever done.  So moving forward I just want to thank my lucky stars, which ironically we are learning to do, that everyone is on board here and spirits are high.

Tomorrow we will pull into Antigua, our first port stop, and spend a few days going about the island learning some of its history, and I’‘m sure enjoying some island time.  I’m curious what it will feel like not only having everything in your life stay in one place for longer than a few seconds, but also interacting with other people. 

This photo shows, well, me and our chief scientist, Chuck, in the process of deploying the Secchi disk. A way for us to measure how deep light penetrates in the water.  We attach this to the hydrowinch and start to lower it.  Once no one can see it anymore, we stop lowering and record the depth.

Now, nearly 10 days into the voyage, it is safe to say that “we are programmed to the sea.  You can check out any time you’‘d like, but you can never leave.” – The Eagles. 

- Colby

OH… and hi to all the moms out there. Esp. Anne’‘s mom.  Also, one love Ben.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: c251  science • (0) Comments


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