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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 02, 2020

Our own Little Island

Audrey Wood, C Watch


Above: Carolyn showing Harrison, Audrey and Sam how to use sextants to shoot the sun; Below: Kerren, Audrey and Claire furling the JT; An aerial view of the ship with the Neuston Net in the bottom left corner.

Ship's Log

Present Location
23° 46.9’ N x 069° 39.6’ W

Ship’s Heading, Speed and Sail plan
Full and by (steering to keep sails full) with Main, Main stays’l, fore stays’l and Jib at 5 knots.

Winds SSE force 2, cloudy with 3 foot seas

Souls on board

It was another hot and sticky day aboard the Cramer. My fair Scottish skin is struggling during these scorching temperatures. Yet I am still loving all of this wonderful and challenging adventure. This morning I was woken up at 0610 for a nice breakfast before heading up for morning watch. I was in galley which meant it was time to get washing dishes. As much as I hate washing up at home, cleaning on the ship never really feels like a chore to me. With Katey, Adam and Campbell cooking veggie pot pie, along with many other delicious things, the six hours seemed to slip by.

At 0800 we had Atlantic history hour where we discussed the similarities and differences of life aboard a boat to that of an island. I’ve really enjoyed these conversations as everyone has a lot of fascinating points. After bouncing ideas back and forth off each other, I do think we are like our own little island. We have all had to adjust to a completely different way of living at sea and I have grown to love this lifestyle. From the intense 6 hour on, 12 hour off watch cycle (which sometimes makes this feel like a full time job) and not being able to walk in a straight line due to the constant “motion in the ocean” as Captain likes to put it to standing lookout on the bow with bioluminescence and dolphins below you, stars above and the whole ocean to sing to (my new favorite thing to do). Every little thing together is what makes this experience. I then stayed up on deck for a while, I helped strike and furl the JT and was the J-frame driver when deploying the carousel and CTD. Science had a very busy day with lots of deployments and the deck crew was kept on their toes. Kerren did a great job of organizing everyone to strike the Jib, double gibe and get the boat going 2 knots (a perfect “bagel walking speed”) to allow science to collect all that awesome data. Then it was back below for more dishes. My fingers started to wrinkle up but I didn’t mind. 

We had class on the quarter deck at 1300 and afterwards I took a nap. I’ve actually grown to like my tiny bunk. Sleeping there has forced me to destroy my extremely picky sleeping habits (which I am very grateful I no longer have). Megan and I then worked on our myctophid project. I have enjoyed learning all these new things in a hands-on way and regained my love of  learning. I am now almost able to dissect a fish, (If you know me you’ll get what a huge deal that is for me) compared to the start of our trip when I struggled to even pull out shrimp and other critters when processing the Neuston Tow I think I’m making good progress. I feel as if I’ve learned a whole new language, I now know what it means to “Brace sharp on a starboard tack” or “Hands to the Fore Stays’l halyard”. Yet more importantly I know where to go and what to do when I hear these commands.

I love being away from my phone and the crazy distractions of normal life. I have become more aware of everything and spent a lot of time in awe of the beauty of Mother Nature. From whales and dolphins to flying fish landing on the deck, your eyes always have something amazing to take in. Almost every night I write in my journal how today’s sunset was more spectacular than the last one. The stars at night are breathtaking and I have been amazed when learning how to plot our position through celestial navigation. Being here I have realized how much I took for granted back home. I now really appreciate the simple things such as being able to do laundry, not falling over in the shower or even just going for a walk. This past month has been the most magical and mind blowing experience but also extremely difficult. I have grown in many ways and learned so much, as a result I can now see changes in myself and I am able to do things I never would have imagined. I look forward to relishing our last few weeks aboard but for now I better get some sleep before I’m woken up in the dead of night for another dawn watch. I wonder what wonderful new and exciting things tomorrow will hold.

- Audrey Wood, gap year student

P.S: Thank you so much Mum for supporting me with this. I can’t wait to give you a huge hug and tell you all about it. Hi Katrina, I miss you tons and I wish you could see the sunsets, you would love them. Sending love across the pond to you, Dad, Granny and Grandpa. I hope I can see you all sometime soon. Hi Howzzzz it, here is your shout out! Chicken Fried was played yesterday during field day and I smiled and thought of you all. However, I’m glad none of you are here as I’ve said the word “choppy” so many times…

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.

Previous entry: All In a Watch    Next entry: Information Isolation


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 Tami on November 03, 2020

♩ ♪ ♫ ♬ “You know I like my chicken fried
And cold beer on a Friday night
A pair of jeans that fit just right
And the radio on” ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

I love to hear that you are finding relief from your phone and daily distractions and enjoying the things around you. It’s something my kids hear all the time, that I think while there are positives, technology has “ruined” the younger generations.

I hope you take this experience and remember to set down technology and enjoy “the little things in life that mean the most” ♩ ♪ ♫ ♬

Can’t wait to hear about all the adventures Alexis. Stay safe, have fun, and appreciate all the experiences you are gaining from this trip, the good and the bad.

#2. Posted by Chris Wood on November 04, 2020

Hi Audrey, I can’t stop smiling reading your fabulous blog and hearing what a magical and challenging time you are having.  How wonderful to reconnect with your love of learning, immerse yourself in the wonder of Mother Nature and be strong enough to grow through the challenges. That is so powerful and everything I could have hoped for you. I can’t wait to hug you and hear your stories!!!! My didn’t you look wonderful as the purple creature from he deep with large googly eyes and I’m so jealous you are learning to celestially navigate!! It sounds like an unbelievable experience for you and your other islanders whose blogs I have also devoured and enjoyed.  Take good care love and ENJOY!!!! XXXXX

#3. Posted by Aunt Jen on November 04, 2020

What an amazing journey you are on right now!
We are so proud that you are embracing every aspect of this time at sea on “your little island”. This moment in time is so special and we look forward to hearing all about it. 
Aunt Jen & Uncle Glenn

#4. Posted by Ellen on November 04, 2020

WOW! So glad you are having an amazing experience!! Enjoy. Every. Moment.

#5. Posted by UC on November 08, 2020

Audrey, I’m glad to hear you’re now an early riser. Celestial navigation…you’ve got some teaching to do. What an amazing journey you’re on.



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