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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

April 23, 2019

Propellers, hats and visitors

Mecky Kuijpers, A-Watch, Oberlin College

Above: Visiting jet passing close to out stern; Below: The engineers lay out the essentials of engines and props under the raffee.

Ship's Log

Noon Position
26 20.5’S x 152 08.1’W

Heading north to Tahiti

350 PSC Wind: SxE, F5

Souls on board

Today was an exciting day aboard the Seamans. We had an all-hands class when the engineers taught us how engines and propellers work, we set a sail for the first time on this trip, and we had a surprise visitor!

A-Watch had the deck this morning. We have been motor sailing for the last couple of days, but just as we were taking over watch the breeze freshened to Force 5 from the SSE, a perfect breeze for setting sails and blowing us on our northerly course toward Tahiti! I was the Junior Lab Officer and Claire was in charge of deck. After a successful carousel deployment and exciting neuston tow, Jay asked us to set the raffee for the first time on our cruise. Having never seen this sail before and nearing the end of our watch with an unrinsed neuston net I was getting nervous for our end of watch turnover.

Yet, setting the raffee turned out to be the highlight of our watch. The raffee, or "party hat" sits above our squares'ls at the very top of the foremast. It is a large triangle that we set from deck - taking it from its bag, attaching the lines, and hauling it up by hand. It is only set in light airs and even then not often, and it is also one of only two sails onboard that are original to the ship - every other sail has been replaced at least once.

While reading on the lab-top after class, enjoying the evening sunshine, I was distracted by my fellow shipmates flooding onto the quarterdeck and staring off into the horizon. I followed their eyes, hoping to see a whale or other exciting marine life, until we were told that an aircraft had just contacted us and was going to fly overhead in two minutes. At the thought of seeing civilization, I shot my eyes skyward excited to see the little dot of an airplane over head.

All of a sudden someone spotted two headlights one-point off the starboard bow grazing the water surface. A small jet came out of the north and flew past the Seamans at around 100 feet off the ocean surface. After lots of waving and cheers from our crew, the plane flew off into the distance before circling back for a second flyby. Finally, Marine 65 came perpendicular to our ship across the port beam and crossed just behind our backstay at which point Paul was able to snap an incredible photo of some of the crew waving to the jet before it disappeared for good.

- Mecky Kuijpers, A-Watch, Oberlin College

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: s285  life at sea  study abroad • (3) 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 Rebecca Frank on April 27, 2019

So fun to read about adventures on the high seas by very lucky students and voyagers. Can’t wait for a blog from Mexi aka FairyGodmother. So so proud of her.

#2. Posted by Roelfien kuijpers on April 28, 2019

Dearest Mecky, so nice hearing your voice from all the way of the other side of our dear planet. I have been reading all the blog posts daily and have been waiting for one from you. Such a lovely post and the excitement comes though your text.

I hope everyone will keep writing these blog posts as it brings your world of adventures close to all of us on shore.


Lieve Meck, wat een avontuur maak jij mee! We missen je enorm hier maar zijn apetrots op je!! Veel liefs van ons allen! De dokter op Fishers ziet erg naar je komst uit! Ik kan niet wachten om al je avonturen te horen, dikke zoen mommy

#3. Posted by Nancy Leadley on April 29, 2019

Hi Liz,
Seeing the side of you in the posted photo gave me such joy!  It has been lovely to read the blogs and learn about your experiences on board. So proud of you for taking this leap and challenging yourself on this journey.  Can’t wait to hear all about it. Miss you terribly.  Love XOX Mom



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