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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

June 08, 2018

Equator Bound

Sarah McNamara, B Watch, University of Michigan

Above: Contents of the galley (kitchen) beginning to get passed back below via bucket brigade after Field Day! Below: The full stack flying from our foremast; Our mysterious note from Neptune that arrived via rubber boot; Sunset over the open ocean.

Ship's Log

Current Position
00°34.00’S x 156°06.10’W

Ship’s Heading & Speed
340° PSC 6kts

Sail Plan
Mains’l, Main Stays’l, Raffee, Tops’l, Course, Forestays’l

Clear night sky, 28° C, 2-3’ waves, wind: ESE

Souls on board

Some of the most beautiful parts of sailing in the equatorial Pacific cannot be captured well on camera. On dawn and evening watch today I could see stars both above and below us. Above us the sky lights up with more stars than most of us students have ever seen. They shine bright enough to work by, even before moonrise. The big dipper rose a few days ago, to foreshadow our entry into the northern hemisphere. We cannot yet see the little dipper but can still see the Southern Cross in this sea between. The stars below us are all the bioluminescent creatures stirred up by the Seamans' passage through the water. They twinkle at the surface before sinking back down, an ephemeral world drifting past us. They are most visible in our wake, which makes it seem as though we are leaving a trail of tiny blue-green stars.

Today was our second Friday Field Day which means that this afternoon we cranked up music and scrubbed down our ship. Afterwards some of us took saltwater deck showers in the fire hose for an exhilarating way to get off the last of the grit. Ship and company breathed a sigh of relief from the fresh wash.

The much anticipated moment of the equatorial crossing should reach us in the wee hours of the morning. After Field Day our fishing line pulled us a rubber boot with a mysterious note from Neptune, the king of the sea, saying that those of us who have never crossed the equator via boat should take note and proceed with care. After dinner (hamburgers and mushrooms!) we placed our bets on precisely what time and at what longitude we should be crossing. As we near the boundary many of the ship's company we will be awoken to be on deck under the brilliant night sky for the event itself.

Clean and equator bound, we are ready for the next part of this adventure.

Sarah McNamara, B Watch, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

P.S. Happy Birthday Mom! You're super amazing and you've been on my mind all day. Thanks for helping me go on this incredible adventure. Sending big hugs to you, Fin, Dad, and Austin! I hope your birthday cake is as fabulous as these stars! Cannot wait to tell you all the stories!

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Pacific Reef Expedition, • Topics: s280  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 Bill McNamara on June 11, 2018

Sarah McNamara,
Just wanted you to know that mom and dad and grandparents have been following the updates regularly looking for a glimpse of you. So impressed with the beautiful places you are visiting and the adventures you are having. Glad you got to do this update. Fin made a delicious cake that I appear to have eaten the most of. Missed having you here but crossing the equator sounds pretty cool too. Sending hugs.


#2. Posted by Alane on June 11, 2018

It is wonderful to read about your adventures.  Thanks for the birthday wishes.  Just remember all those stars are hugs from all of your families.  Wishing you all the most amazing voyage.



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