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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

March 13, 2016

Next stop: Jamaica!

Melissa Weiss, University of Vermont

SEA Semester Caribbean

Cramer sailing away from sunset

Ship's Log

18°25.5’ N x 76°04.9’ W

Distance from Port Antonio, Jamaica: 24.1 nm


1.1 knot

Souls on Board

After our lovely break on land, there has been no time to spare while getting back into the routine of the ship. My day began early, with a 0230 wakeup. After watch turn over, we quickly got into our routine, rotating through our responsibilities on deck. Around 0500 I stood at lookout admiring the view around me: the faint horizon slowly emerging from the dark, lights of Jamaica in the distance, and below me the glow of bioluminescence twinkling as waves crashed around the hull of the ship. As I continued to look down, I noticed a light patch shining through the dark water below me, and soon another and another.

Surrounded by bioluminescence, I quickly made out the shape of more than five dolphins that decided to join us. I stared in amazement at the beautiful animals as they moved gracefully through the water in their own dance, illuminated by the stars of the sea. After a few minutes, the dolphins swam away and my moment of bliss came to an end. Almost instantly, the swells began to increase as if the dolphins had taken away both my calmness and the sea’s at the same time. I carefully stepped down from the bow and returned to what seems to be my favorite place on the ship, with my head hanging over the starboard railing.

I continued my lookout from the quarterdeck where the motion of the ocean is a bit less exaggerated compared to the bow. Once our watch came to an end, my watch mates and I pushed through another breakfast and dawn clean up before we could finally lay down to rest. Soon after laying down, I could feel the hum of the engine that had been turned on to help us get to our afternoon science station on Grappler Bank. The sounds of science could be heard from below as the on-deck watch conducted a surface station and deployment including the dip net, secchi disk, and shipek grab.

The day continued after lunch with everyone working together to wrap up oceanography projects that are due tomorrow. We also had a special class today with a showing of a documentary to prepare us for Jamaica. As the day came to an end, B watch reclaimed the deck for evening watch. The sun had gone down and the moon began rising, illuminating the water. Midway through watch, I heard a faint shout from Pam at the bow. Much to my surprise, the glowing dolphins had returned. My fellow watch mates (previously skeptical of my earlier encounters) were awed and amazed as the dolphins played beneath the bowsprit. 

Tomorrow will be another long but rewarding day as B watch once again brings the Cramer into port. Excitement can be felt throughout the ship, especially since Jamaica has been in sight for the past few days. I certainly will be anxious to get onto stable ground once again and hopefully I won’t experience too much reverse sea sickness--which actually happens. Hi to all my Fam at home and Walker and Fed!

- Melissa

Previous entry: Life in a Polygon    Next entry: Happy PI Day From Jamaica


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 Michelle Weiss on March 14, 2016

Melissa, It’s wonderful and fitting that the dolphins escorted you into our second home of Jamaica.  Know they carry with them our love & happiness for you and your shipmates adventurous spirit.  I do hope you regain your sea legs and find calm on the beautiful shore.  Enjoy that amazing turquoise water and the delicious fresh fruits & veggies that await you in beautiful Jamaica. 
Stay Irie lady mon ....
Love you lots, Mom

#2. Posted by Bea Brown on March 14, 2016

Thinking of you and enjoying the stories of your travels. Just beautiful. Enjoy your stop in Jamaica. Hugs and love. Auntie

#3. Posted by Dan Weiss on March 15, 2016

Great Story !!  Great writing !!  Have fun !  Love you !  Hugs . from Dad

#4. Posted by Joan weiss on March 15, 2016

Wow, your writing is amazing. So for you seeing those Dolphins.
Looking forward to seeng you in July.



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