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SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

March 09, 2016

Catch of the Day

Tim Rajotte, College of the Holy Cross

SEA Semester Caribbean

Hauling home dinner!

Ship's Log

Location
dock at Santiago de Cuba

Souls on Board

Today was our first day of exploration in Santiago de Cuba, a day that undoubtedly left us with a wealth of knowledge in a country that is relatively unknown to American students. During our tour of the city, we explored areas that were meaningful to Cuba's multiple wars for independence, including El Morro fort at the entrance to Santiago Bay. Our tour even included a lunch overlooking El Morro and the Caribbean Sea that featured a delicious meal and ice cream, or helado, for desert. To end our day long tour, we made a stop at a local store, where we were greeted with samples of Cuba's finest rum and had the opportunity to purchase Cuban cigars.

Thus far, every port we have visited has had unique characteristics that cater to everyone's interests, including dance clubs and art galleries. I will leave the rest of our Cuban adventures to Emma, who will blog on Friday. For the rest of my blog, I want to talk about an experience that perfectly sums up our lives on the Corwith Cramer that happened just this past Monday.

Monday started as a day just like any other, sailing through the Caribbean Sea and preparing for our daily class at 1430. Emma, Shane, and myself were tasked with preparing our daily weather report, which included a forecast for easy downwind sailing entering the Windward Passage. Just before class, I decided to cast out a trolling fishing line for the first time, something I have been dying to do since ever since boarding the Cramer. Our third mate Ryan has been casting lines the whole journey and has yet to catch anything, so I was not expecting much out of my first try.

Class began with our weather report, and as we were presenting a Coast Guard helicopter flew directly overhead, a first for our journey. Captain Chris, who served on active duty in the Coast Guard for 14 years, commented, "take me back I can't handle these crazy people." After our daily reports, chief scientist Jeff led a game of Zooplankton Pictionary that pitted each watch against one another. Mid game, the fishing line snapped, signifying a fish had taken our bait. We immediately sprang into action, with Elliott reeling in the line, Ryan standing by with the spear to corral the fish, and myself and engineer Alex ready to catch the fish once it was onboard. Once the 2-3 foot mahi was on board, everyone sprang into their positions. Tia immediately began filleting the fish for dinner as we swept clean the quarterdeck and the science team prepared to dissect the fish. After class had ended, we were all able to experience what the first catch of C-264 had to offer. Elliot and myself, having collectively set the line and reeled it back in, were tasked with hanging the tail from as far forward on the bowsprit as possible, a traditional fisherman's gesture that signifies luck in future fishing endeavors. Ryan also told us that another tradition involves whoever killed the fish eating its heart, but I'm not sure if that ever happened.

Later on, we were all able to watch the science team dissect and inspect the mahi, looking at the contents of its stomach including its diet and potential presence of plastics from the ocean. We were able to view the gills, stomach, and tongue of the mahi and thanks to Jeff's help were even able to dissect the fish's eyes. To end the night, Tia prepared the meat as the freshest sushi we'll ever have. While this was quite the memorable experience, it was just another day on the Cramer, full of exciting new experiences for students and crew. Hopefully as we begin our final two weeks of the program this will only be the first of many fresh seafood dinners we enjoy onboard.

- Tim

Previous entry: Pulling Back the Curtain    Next entry: ¡Bienvenidos a Cuba!

Reactions

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 Gipper on March 11, 2016

Way to go Tim uncle gip


#2. Posted by Nancy Donovan on March 11, 2016

AWESOME!!!
Enjoy every spectacular moment!!!!!


#3. Posted by Tish Saburn on March 11, 2016

Wow! Now THAT is fresh fish!  (I think I would cook it though…)
It was a difficult few days not being able to hear from all of you…glad to receive these updates yesterday and today!  Yay!
Enjoy Cuba!
HI Tess….I changed to water for James today! Aren’t you proud?!!


#4. Posted by Katy O'neil on March 11, 2016

As someone who lives on Bowsprit Lane and is constantly asked what a bowsprit is, its informative to see it used in a sentence.  You are becoming quite the seaman (and by that, I mean man of the sea)!


#5. Posted by Michelle Weiss on March 13, 2016

Nice Catch & providing for all aboard!


#6. Posted by Kelsey Reilly on March 16, 2016

Sound like an awesome experience Tim. It seems like you are having fun and learning a lot. Enjoy the rest of your trip and cant wait to see you soon!!


#7. Posted by Collette Rajotte on March 22, 2016

So looking forward to seeing you soon.  The blogs have been awesome. I look so forward to them and learning about your experiences.  Such wonderful memories.  enJOY!!


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