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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. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

June 23, 2015

Let the JWO phase begin!

Clare Feely and JJ McDowell, Deckhands

Transatlantic Crossing

Shooting the moon at sunset

Ship's Log

Noon Position
49° 27.4’ N x 019° 08.3’ W

Description of location
East of the Mid Atlantic Ridge

Ship Heading
C/O 075° PSC, C/S 080° PSC

Ship Speed
5.7 knots

Taffrail Log
2389.5 nm

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
Sunny and fairly warm. Wind SW Force 3. Seas SWxS 4 feet. Sailing under the Stays’ls and Main with a single reef.

Marine Mammals Observed last 24hrs (estimate of totals)

Sargassum Observed last 24hrs (estimate of totals)

Souls on Board

Last night’s evening watch marked the beginning of Phase 3, the JWO (Junior Watch Officer) and JLO (Junior Lab Officer) phase. From here on out the students will be putting their newly acquired knowledge to the test and running the ship on deck and in lab, while the mates and assistant scientists take a step back, guiding with a more hands off approach. Our first three JWOs were JJ from A Watch (evening watch), Darcy from B Watch (midwatch), and Clare from C Watch (dawn watch).

Excitement at the start of this new phase in the trip quickly took a back seat to taking care of business. After only 20 minutes into JJ’s command of the deck,  the winds died suddenly and shifted over 60 degrees, requiring some quick sail maneuvering to stay on course and on the correct tack. With this drastic turn in the weather, it was as if the ocean knew that less experienced hands were in charge and decided to take advantage. To put this scenario in perspective, during the 48 hours prior, Mama Cramer had been making a blistering 8-9 knots with consistent wind direction and strength. This tremendous pace was called to an impressive halt as the next three watches struggled to capture the now light and variable winds, only managing a measly 1-3 knots over the following 10-12 hours. Try as we might to continue sailing without the help of the main engine, by the time Clare and the rest of C Watch took the deck, crawling at 1.5 knots with no sign of increasing winds just wasn’t cutting it. With the main engine engaged, the ship was set to breeze through the low pressure weather system that was to blame for their wind-driven woes. This low was met with a silver lining however as a rather unique sunset developed. The majority of the sky was filled with dark clouds leaving only a sliver of sky to the west clear, colored a deep creamscicle orange. As the sun set, everyone on deck watched closely for the green flash, and we were so close to seeing it until a large swell rocked the ship a bit too much. We just missed it. 

Over the last few weeks, us deckhands have had the privilege of watching the students grow,  learn, and become true sailors. Since each of us has stayed with our respective watch over the course of the month, including through each rotation from student to shadow to JWO, we have watched them progress from hardly knowing a halyard from a downhaul to taking control of entire sail maneuvers, such as gybing the ship in order to heave to on a port tack for science, or deploying a hydrocast to 1000 meters (good job Kelli and Aidan!). As everyone completed the long-awaited deck practical today, we couldn’t have been happier to see our students pass with flying colors.

A very happy belated Father’s Day to both our dads.

The Department of Deckhands (Clare & JJ)

P.S. Happy birthday, Daddio! Thinking of the Feelys on this Irish voyage. –Love, Clare

P.S. Happy retirement Dad, and happy graduation Andrew! I’ll bring you back some stories from Ireland. -JJ

A haiku from Dr. Michael Hoffman:
    Sailing a tall ship
    White sails under blue skies
    A great dream fulfilled

Messages in a bottle:
Hi family, made sushi tonight for the whole ship. Tasted the same as home minus your love.   –Love, Joseph

Hi everyone, I can navigate celestially! Also the ocean in beautiful at night; furling the jib in the dark was electrifying. Good luck with the last of your PBAs, Benji. –Love, Danielle

Missing Family and Friends, having an amazing time, safe and sound, taking lots of pictures and writing in my journal. – Nolan

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Transatlantic Crossing, • Topics: c260  celestial navigation • (1) 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 Anne on June 25, 2015

Congratulations to all on this new phase! With each new blog, you’re making me see the earth and ocean in a new way. Danielley, I knew you’d find a use for all those twinkly stars.



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