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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



From the Smallest to the Tallest

Maggie Schultz, B Watch, Mount Holyoke College
Marine Biodiversity & Conservation

Above: Tiny Magic Cups Below: New Heights

Ship's Log

29° 16.5’N x 066° 20.0’W

Description of location
North Sargasso Sea

085° True

Speed over ground
6 kts

Weather / Wind
Cloudy, 24.0°C, Beaufort force 4 winds from SExS.

Souls on Board

Today began with (vegan) pancakes from our amazing steward Sabrina. She has been feeding us non-stop with gourmet meals and snacks six times a day, there is more food here than I've ever seen in my life. After an amazing breakfast, my watch (B-watch) was ready to take the deck. Half of us went to tend the sails and ship while the others, Anna and myself went to lab with our scientist leader Grayson. When I walked into lab, there were pantyhose filled with styrofoam cups we had decorated, hanging around the lab disco ball. Along with this came an explanation from the hysterical dawn watch who had been awake from 0100-0700. Today was the day we would be deploying the CTD (a device used to measure depth) and through sciencey magic transforming our decorative styrofoam cups into tiny cups!

But we had two hours to kill between 0700 and 0900 so I spent my morning identifying hydroids under the microscope. At 0900 it was time to deploy the CTD and begin the creation of our tiny cups! Each person had been given a Styrofoam cup to decorate and send down 2,000 meters with the equipment we were testing. We tied all of the styrofoam cup filled pantyhose to a  clamp and attached it to a wire. We then watched as 40+ cups disappeared into the ocean depths. The next hour and a half was pretty uneventful we mostly just stood watching as the wire uncoiled into the ocean, we did do a lot of Sargassum watching though.

An hour and a half later we watched as our now TINY colorful cups came up out of the water. They were all so cute, each one had shrunk, along with all its decorations to a quarter of its original size! They were all different shapes and colors, very easy to identify whose was whose! After this the afternoon went pretty normally, we had lunch (always so good, salad and peanut noodles today), I took a nap and then we had class on the quarter deck. Until we were told we would be able to go aloft after class for the first time! We have all been working on our checklist and safety protocols so we were all very impatient to go. After class we put on harnesses and one by one climbed up the foremast. It was amazing! The scenery is so different from up high. We could see all four directions and the horizon was all around us. We also spotted a lot of Sargassum we definitely could not see from the deck. The sun was also getting lower so the reflection in the water was amazing.

Overall it was a very eventful day, the weather was beautiful, we sent our now tiny cups 2,000 meters under water and we climbed to new levels on the ship. I have been learning so much every day here, about ship handling, navigation, science, how to feed 30+ people and even a little engineering. It's a lot to take in all the time but things are coming more easily with every day. It's definitely weird being completely cut off from communication and people and particularly not knowing about things that are going on in the world. I know I have a lot of catching up to do when I get back but I hope I will come back with a better understanding, more knowledge and a  new perspective of the world. I will continue to learn from both the crew and my classmates/crewmates and will take away as much as I can from this experience.

- Maggie

P.S. Callie, I saw dolphins swimming in bioluminescence, you're right it was honestly - I've never seen anything like it! Mama, hope you're doing okay and things are working out. We caught a ton of pyrosomes they're like giant light up tongues they were so weird I wish I could bring one back for you. Michael, don't worry I'm eating a lot of food and am still alive and healthy. Friends, I miss you a lot and hope finals went okay and you're all taking care of yourselves. Thank you to everyone whose reading this, I love and miss you all a lot!

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, • Topics: c273  sargassum  styrocast  study abroad • (2) Comments
Previous entry: A Day with Mama Cramer    Next entry: Counting Down to Bermuda


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

#1. Posted by Laurie Carlson on May 05, 2017

Maggie, I’ve enjoyed reading all the blog entries—what an exciting adventure you are on! And it’s great that both you and Callie have this experience to share. That styrofoam cup experiment is fascinating and I’m sure you are learning some amazing things. Enjoy the rest of the voyage! ❤️ Aunt Laurie

#2. Posted by Annie Schultz on May 05, 2017

We love you too, Maggie<3 Carry on with your adventures, C273! We landlubbers are vicariously enjoying reading about them from afar!



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