• Like Sea Education Association on Facebook
  • Follow Sea Education Association on Twitter
  • Follow SEA Semester on Instagram
  • Watch Sea Education Association on YouTube
  • Read SEA Currents
  • Listen to SEA Stories
  • 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



Day in the Life of a Galley Steward

Ridge Pierce, A Watch, Roger Williams University
Marine Biodiversity & Conservation

Hauling on the mains’l halyard

Ship's Log

27°46.1’N x 069°47.9’W

Description of location
South Sargasso Sea

040 degrees True

Speed over ground
5.0 kts

Weather / Wind
Clear night sky, 24.0 C, Beaufort force 4 winds (12 kts)

Souls on Board

We reached our 1,000th cumulative mile of our journey during early dawn this morning while the spray was whipping over the bow and the only light on deck was from the stars. We were taking a slight diversion South through the South Sargasso Sea in hopes of obtaining more samples of Sargassum and possibly the form we have not found much of on this voyage: Sargassum natans (I won’t get any more specific about this spectacular floating seaweed). The watch that was assigned to be up from 0100-0700 last night was my watch, A watch (A Team). Luckily for me, there was a sign hanging from the curtain of my bunk that reads “Please don’t wake me! I’m Assistant steward!” with “Death be to ye who wake the assistant steward” scribbled in sharpie under a skull and crossbones. Luckily for those assigned to do wake ups from the previous watch, I was not awoken, and fortunately for me, I did not have to scramble to make tea and stand dawn watch that night. Rather, I was assigned as the Assistant Steward for the day. 

Only one of the student crew is assigned this position each day and they are allowed to miss their current watch duties. Instead, they get to work in the Galley with our very talented steward Sabrina, to cook whatever meals we want for breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner, and of course, midnight snack for the crew of 31.

Today I woke up at 5:30 and helped prepare a hearty bacon and egg breakfast, and later on in the morning sliced some apples for snack. The highlight of my time in the Galley was helping Sabrina make some delicious bread dough from scratch and turn it into delectable grilled cheeses that I think everyone loved! It’s a good feeling to have your shipmates enjoy a meal you prepared. Snack was a delicious bowl of hummus and crackers, and for dinner, we had wicked spicy jerk chicken/tofu which was also a hit! I also utilized the baking skills my Mom taught me as a child to whip up 50 or so soft and yummy chocolate chip muffins for midnight snack. Don’t worry all you people with dietary restrictions, Sabrina is the best at accommodating any dietary needs, and many of my vegan friends aboard say she makes the best vegan cheese they have ever tasted!

A nice thing about being the steward is that there are many breaks throughout the day where you can take some time and enjoy being out on the open ocean. I spent one break reading a book in the sun on the quarterdeck, another identifying mobile fauna found on Sargassum clumps, and the after lunch break I hung out with two friends on the headrig. This is the netting found underneath the bowsprit (the large pole sticking out of the front of the ship). It was an amazing experience to see the ship racing across the blue seas behind you, with nothing but blue seas and skies all around. I watched us make our gybe to take us north again to head to Bermuda. After my day in the Galley, I spent my final hours after the sun went down calculating our location with my current mate. We used a sextant and various navigational stars as they appeared to pinpoint our location with what they call a star fix. Overall, it was a very eventful day and I can't wait for another one tomorrow!

- Ridge

P.S. Hope everything at home is going well Mom, Dad, and Clay (and all my pets you guys are taking care of). Thanks for supporting me in having this awesome experience!

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, • Topics: c273  sargassum  study abroad  research • (3) Comments
Previous entry: Surf’s Up    Next entry: Sailing and Science under the Stars


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

#1. Posted by Dez on May 02, 2017

Oh my goodness gracious Ridge, you look like you are working hard trying to haul in the picture! Your mom makes some of the best cookies I have ever consumed, so if you truly utilized the skills she taught you, there is no way anyone could not like the food you make. Glad to see you are having fun!

#2. Posted by Shannon on May 03, 2017

Hi Shannon! We have been following your journey and enjoying every blog. You are more than halfway to Bermuda and will be enjoying port for a week. Every picture brings a smile to our faces! Hard work but the most spectacular college credits you’ve earned thus far! Love you A&F <3

#3. Posted by Mom on May 03, 2017

Nice blog Ridge. CRAZY that is was about the galley. Loved it. Hope all is well. We miss you very much. Thinking about you every day. Watch a sunrise for us.



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

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