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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

October 15, 2020

Offshore for Shore

Aidan Young, A Watch


Above: Carolyn’s Birthday Snack; Below: Setting the Tops’l.

Ship's Log

Present Location
39° 58.608’ N x 071° 15.423’ W

Ship’s Heading, Speed and sail plan
Hove-To, Mains’l (First Reef)

Clear skies, Wind from SSW, 2 foot waves from SWxS

Souls on board

Hello to everyone reading this blog. It’s been a long, beautiful 24 hours on the Cramer. Just about a day ago I was settling into a beautiful Evening Watch—1900 to 0100. On lookout and the helm, I got a pretty excellent view of a full night sky. As a New Yorker, I don’t see much of the stars at all, but I got the sense that this was an especially good night by any metric. The Milky Way was on full display and I caught sight of more than a few shooting stars. On that watch we caught our first myctophids in our neuston tow, which will be good data points for many of our projects.

I slept through most of the next morning, though I was told the sunrise was also beautiful, and awoke to a clear, warm day—the first of the trip that made me consider wearing shorts. My assignment for afternoon watch (1300-1900) was to be Assistant Engineer, so I got to work with JC, our Chief Engineer, today. We spent much of the afternoon performing weekly maintenance on the various valves on the ships. We also turned off our watermakers, which turn the seawater around us into freshwater, as we had filled up our tanks. These watermakers can turn salt water into freshwater at a whopping rate of 45 gallons/hour!

At our 1400 class, we received a weather report from Campbell, Max, and Megan, a navigational report from Yoela and Audrey, and a science report from Becca, Raechel, and Logan. During class we also practiced setting the tops’l, which is the higher of the two square sails on the foremast.

At 1600, we celebrated Carolyn’s, our 2nd mate, birthday! We had an appropriate afternoon snack to celebrate, a chocolate pineapple cake, along with a birthday song. Many compliments to Katey, Adam, and Sara in the galley for making that treat.

To briefly explain the watch system, the day is broken into 4 6-hour watch times: Morning Watch (0700-1300), Afternoon Watch (1300-1900), Evening Watch (1900-0100), and Dawn Watch (0100-0700). There are 3 watch groups—A, B, and C—that cycle through the watch times. In practice, this means that each watch group does every watch time every three days. A is relieved by B, B is relieved by C, C by A, ad infinitum. I figure all of you reading at home may
already be familiar, but that it would be good to explain as I am sure these different watches will be referenced almost every day going forward.

Being out at sea, at night or during the day, is magical. For most of today, there wasn’t even another ship in sight. Nothing but the wind, the sky, the sun, and the Cramer. It’s difficult to put into words, but the effect it has is very calming and relaxing.  Especially in the turbulence of recent times and of very recent weather patterns, I’ve found the past 36 hours to be to reflect, on lookout, by reading, or by enjoying a sunny afternoon with friends with a furled sail as our cushion.

- Aidan Young, Duke University Gap Year Student

P.S. from Carolyn: Happy Birthday Daddy! Love you lots and lots.

P.S. from Aidan: To my family back home, I love and miss you all.

Editor's Note: In response to the coronavirus pandemic, all SEA Semester students, faculty, and crew aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer boarded the ship after strictly isolating on our Woods Hole campus for a minimum of two weeks, and after repeated negative tests for COVID-19. To ensure the health and safety of those onboard, the ship will not conduct any port stops and will remain in coastal waters so that any unlikely medical situations may be resolved quickly.

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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 Martha Livingston on October 16, 2020

Bruh! Loved reading this blog post!  Sounds like an amazing trip thus far.  Very jealous of your star gazing!  Looking forward to reading your shipmate’s future posts! 
p.s. Aidan—we miss you, love you, and are so happy you are having such a wonderful adventure!!

#2. Posted by Douglas, Sarah, Griffin and Zoë on October 16, 2020

Aidan, it’s great to hear you are having a magical experience on the water. Here’s to many more sunny afternoons on the deck with your friends. Lots of love from your friends in NYC, New London, and Hartland!

#3. Posted by Douglas, Sarah, Griffin and Zoë on October 16, 2020

Aidan, it’s great to hear you are having a magical experience on the water. Zoë says you look really happy setting the tops’l. Here’s to many more sunny afternoons on the deck with your friends. Lots of love from your friends in NYC, New London, and Hartland!

#4. Posted by Kristen Deevy on October 16, 2020

So great to see my daughter, Megan, smiling in every picture! Sail on!

#5. Posted by Zia Anna on October 17, 2020

Dear Aidan: So great to read your blog, you are all learning so many interesting and new things, how exciting! Good rotation system for your watch duties, I was wondering how that would work! I love how you describe how magical it is to experience being on a sailboat in the middle of the ocean! This is an unforgettable experience for everyone. Continue to be curious, learn and enjoy the ride! Thanks for letting us feel like we are there too, together with you, via this blog! A special “Ciao, mi manchi” to my niece, Lucia!

Hugs to everyone from Zia Anna following your adventure from Zürich!

#6. Posted by Mark Young on October 18, 2020

Dear Aidan.  Thanks for the window into your and your mates’ early days.  It does sound truly magical — watching the stars by night and sitting with new friends against a furled sail by day — and I hope that magic and the adventures continue.  We love and miss you. 
PS:  Mana went home on Friday and seems to be doing well.



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