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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

May 11, 2014

C252 Web Blog - 11 May 2014

Allison Work, Whitman College


A familiar view that will soon be sorely missed!

Ship's Log

38° 12.1’‘N x 072° 01.6’‘W
Wind NWxW F3, few clouds, 19.4°C

As I scroll through previous blog posts, I see yesterday’s blog already started some Mother’s Day shoutouts. But given the number of requests I had from shipmates all morning who knew I was writing today’s blog (and who also, ahem, reminded me today is Mother’s Day), I can’’t let my post go without giving a ginormous shoutout to all the mothers of all the sailors aboard Mama Cramer. Happy Mother’s Day to all! Lots of good thoughts and love are flying toward you all from the North Atlantic Ocean.

The other big news of the day is that we are now north of the Gulf Stream! C Watch stood morning watch today from 0700 to 1300 and we got to watch the current speeds on the ADCP as we passed through the bulk of this infamous current. The ADCP, the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler, is a handy-dandy instrument our lab maintains that tells us how strong and in which direction the current under the ship is moving. This morning, we saw currents up to five knots. That’s fast for a current: that’s the speed Cramer makes on an average day of sailing, so to have that speed from the water alone affects our movement severely. The ADCP readout on the computer plots the ship’s path against the current underneath, and it was pretty striking to watch our heading change from our intended course of northwest to north and then to the current’s direction of northeast. The breeze was strong enough this morning that we could travel under sail alone, but we turned the motor on to keep moving west and out of the Stream as it pushed us back east. Exiting the Stream wasn’’t just something we watched on the computer screen: as we left the most obvious part of the current, we could see a distinctive line of choppy water fall farther and farther off our stern as we sailed into calmer waters. Some people also said they felt the air temperature shift distinctly right at that moment; I haven’t checked the logbook to see if that’s factually the case, but it’s been jacket weather since Bermuda. We’‘re definitely not in the South Sargasso Sea anymore!

Sailing north of the Gulf Stream reminded me just how close we are to our destination. I know many people are excited to get back to land civilization and its luxuries—a normal sleep schedule, ground that doesn’’t pitch wildly when you take a step, the internet (probably just for the cat videos) —but I already know I will sorely miss life at sea. Rolling out of my bunk before watch and heading up on deck barefoot to test out the air is one of my favorite feelings, and looking around on deck at nothing but blue water is so normal by now but mind-blowing when I pause and think about all that ocean. As Mandy said yesterday, it is hard to balance being in this moment with all we have to finish for our projects. It’s so important though, since it’s a long time before I get to experience this again, if ever. In a few short days, we’ll be among skyscrapers. Nutty. And there’‘s still so much here to learn and see and experience. “First”s are still happening constantly: learning about ship systems, catching fish, going aloft. Alex (our Chief Engineer, or “Wizard” as Team Galley has taken to calling her) gave a class today on the Cramer’s diesel combustion engine which was new learning for several of us. (Dad, maybe it would have helped to pull out a whiteboard and draw everything out each time you’’ve tried to explain car systems to me!) Our fishing line finally caught something today—a gorgeous Mahi mahi who wriggled free before we could haul the line on board. I realized I’ve never actually seen a fish of that size somewhere other than the grocery store before, and I had no idea that living mahi are so colorful. Shiny yellows, greens and blues: colors I’’d never previously associated with the fish. Days are packed full, and it only gets busier from here as we sail into New York and hit shore running to finish the last few weeks of our program!

More love to moms and everyone else out there we love and appreciate,
Allison Work

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, • Topics: c252 • (0) Comments


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