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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

November 16, 2021

First Reef Survey on St. Croix!

HuxleyAnn Huefner, Scripps College

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Above: A view out of the plane window of our third and final flight down to St. Croix from Miami. You’ll soon learn that we have many fabulous photographers in our class. (Photo: Victoria Scott); Below: The view from our hike down to the reef in Isaac’s Bay, St. Croix.

Ship's Log

Location
Discovery Grove, St. Croix

Weather Conditions
Sunny and hot, windy, no swells!

Sea Conditions
Choppy with a pretty strong current, warm!

Souls on board

Hello from C-301!

As the first student to write a post, I would like to welcome you to our blog! As of today (Tuesday) we have been in the USVI for two full days. We spent both yesterday and today snorkeling; it was fabulous! Yesterday we snorkeled off a pier in Frederiksted. It was not a reef, but we saw a ton of wildlife. Some of the highlights included sea turtles, octopi, squids, Christmas tree worms, and so many other fishes. A lot of us spent the plane rides to St. Croix studying our fish and invertebrate flashcards so it was awesome to see the organisms we had learned about in class in person. Pro top: if you are ever in an area with pier pillars or other structures, go snorkeling. They make fabulous artificial reefs.

Today we did our first reef survey. We got to drive across the entire island over to the marine protected area (MPA) where we planned to snorkel in Isaac’s Bay. On the way we caught a glimpse of the SSV Corwith Cramer down at the dock. Don’t worry Cramer, we’ll be there soon!

Once we got to the MPA, it was a one mile hike down to the reef and we lugged two lunch coolers, three water jugs, reef survey equipment, and all of our gear down. We had two guests come help us with our survey! Their names were Matt and Kelcie, and both worked in reef conservation and fisheries here in the USVI. At the top of the hike, many of us feared we would not be able to snorkel. All we could see was white caps and big waves. However, once we got down to the cove where we planned to snorkel, the conditions were a little better, so we all felt pretty comfortable going in. We didn’t end up completing the eight transects we planned on doing today because of the weather conditions. We did one as a group and while it was a very different snorkeling experience, I think I can speak for the group and say we all had a blast. Some organism highlights include a flamingo tongue, a HUGE barracuda (the students who witnessed it said it was two feet long), a nudibranch, fire coral, and a living elkhorn coral. This was awesome to see because almost all of the elkhorn coral in the Caribbean has been killed by disease. Only about 3% of it is still alive. And we saw some!

We had the opportunity to meet most of the crew that will be on the boat with us last night. I didn’t know that it was possible, but I am even more excited to get on this vessel and go off the grid. I already know it will be a fantastic experience.

- HuxleyAnn Huefner, Scripps College

P.S. To my family: I miss you all! I am learning so much from our fabulous staff and faculty members here with me. Also, I’ve been practicing navy showers (basically showers where you get wet, turn off the water to soap up, and then turn on the water to rinse off). The water bill will be happy when I get home smile. Love you!

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 Deanna Littell on November 18, 2021

Thank you all for helping Macy get along with her injury.  She is in great hands!!


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