Ready for an adventure with a purpose? Request info »
  • Search SEA Semester, Summer and High School Programs

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 24, 2021

Rocking and Rolling Around Florida

Ava Kiss, A-Watch, Cornell University


Above: Natalie, Laurens, Lydia, and Fiona (Left to right) haul away on the forstays’l halyard as our 1st mate Rocky keeps a watchful eye. Below: Anna and Kass (Left to right) untie the jib to be raised out on the bowsprit. Another brilliant sunset over the open ocean to end the day

Ship's Log

Noon Position
24°24.8’N 80°56.8’W

Ship Heading
035° psc

Ship Speed
6 knots

Taffrail Log
740.9 nm

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
26° celcius, sunny with a couple scattered cumulous and cirrus clouds. Decent winds from the SE with sustained SSE 4-5ft swells. At 1300 we were sailing under the four lowers on a pitchy beam reach.

Description of location
We zig-zagged through the Florida Straits, south the Florida Keys by about 20 nm and north of the Cuban EEZ, headed away from the Gulf of Mexico for the western Atlantic .

Souls on board

Slept through breakfast for a whopping 10 hours of sleep last night! Much needed after a night full of processing Neuston tow contents during lab Dawn Watch the morning before followed by a night watch shift on deck. Today was a beautiful day but with very pitchy seas (meaning the boat was rocking and rolling). Since departing the Dry Tortugas we have set out to round the south most tip of Florida. As we leave the Gulf of Mexico behind the calms seas that we had become accustomed to have turned into larger swells really putting our balance to the test.

I for one have walked into many more walls than usual in the last 24 hours and have become very grateful for the gimbaled tables in the main salon that move with the boat to keep the delicious food, cooked by our fantastic stewards, from sliding right off our plates. As of last night, up on deck we now have lines called jackl’ns stretching from the bow to the stern on both the port and starboard side to help us brace ourselves as we walk around. I find it a fun challenge to sway along with the boat and stay in one place; it is like the ultimate version of surfing the subway. During class each afternoon we have science and deck reports on what happened over the past day. For science we have a little chant “Oh Ah science report I said Oh Ah Science Report Woo Woo” but we don’t have a jingle we sing for deck! I came up with singing D-E-C-K to the tune of YMCA and hopefully that will stick!

My Watch (A-Watch aka the best watch) was on during the afternoon from 1300-1900. We have been fortunate enough to be sailing under wind power only all day today making the ride a bit smoother than if we were motoring under sail! It has only been a little over a week since we pushed off the dock at USF and it is incredible to see how much we have all learned in that short period of time. We are all getting very familiar with the way our watches run from gybing and trimming sails to deploying scientific gear and analyzing samples.

Our scientists and mates have begun to hand off more responsibility to us preparing us for those final couple of weeks when they will take a step back and let us students/crew in training take the lead. Today during watch I was out on deck and Rocky, our watch’s mate, assigned me to run watch rotation. This meant I was in charge of directing my shipmates on deck with me to their hourly assignments, myself included. It was a bit stressful but everyone is so supportive and enthusiastic to do their part it helps everything run smoothly. I was able to learn more about all the things our mates have on their mind as we stand watch, like checking the radar for nearby traffic, ensuring we are following the captain’s navigation plans, keeping tabs on the weather to adjust our course steering with the wind and swell… and so much more.

It is a lot, but it is so worth it as all these pieces come together and seeing everyone flourish as we take on these challenges as a team. “We’re all in the same boat” is a saying we keep throwing around as a joke but is actually very important to because we have to give our all for each other and ourselves to make sure we stay safe and accomplish our goals, emulating the values of ‘ship, shipmate, self’. I am excited to see what the weeks ahead bring and to head out into the Atlantic even if it means we may have days more wavy than this! Time to sign off and catch some shut eye, a commodity almost as precious as our beloved saltines these days.

To my family, I love and miss you! Give Enzo a big squeeze from me, see y’all soon. 

***A note from Captain Allison Taylor to her mother…  Happy Birthday Carolyn! Missing you and thinking of you on your special day!***

- Ava Kiss, A-Watch, Cornell University

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, • Topics: c297  mbc  research at sea • (2) 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 Carolyn Taylor on April 26, 2021

Thank you Captain Allison, I had a lovely day!

#2. Posted by Lisa Kiss on April 26, 2021

So great to read about your days on that beautiful boat!  It sounds amazing!  From our point of view it looks like you are going north really fast!  I guess you are going further East out at sea as you mentioned… it’s fun watching the red dot on the map!  Enzo misses you as do we!!! Have a great week!!! Sending love! XO



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

I would like SEA to keep me informed about news and opportunities.