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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 02, 2014

S251 Weblog 02 March 2014

Rachael Ashdown, C Watch, Sweet Briar College

View of Mangareva from atop Mt Mokoto.

Ship's Log

Current Position
23° 7.0’’ S x 134° 58.0’’ W
Course and Speed
Anchored in Mangareva
Sail Plan
anchored until March 6th
afternoon sunshine with calm waters and winds out of the north

It is always feels a bit strange to be on shore after a long period at sea. Not that a week is that long, but it certainly feels that way after our island-hopping in the Marquesas.  As it is Sunday, the morning started with a sizable number of students heading off to mass at the local Catholic church.  From what I heard, it was extremely crowded and had some great music.  I decided to forgo this particular activity in favor of something more adventurous.

Ship life is great.  Those that know me well will be surprised to hear how well I’‘ve adapted to the strange sleeping schedule (getting up at three in the morning, as I will be tomorrow, seems perfectly normal now).  I love learning how to be a deck hand and I have never had a bad day doing science in the lab.  I’m not just saying that because Julia, the assistant scientist on my watch, is in charge of this blog.  I really do enjoy everything we do. But as much fun as shipboard life is, I do miss some things.  And hiking seems to be high on the list.  I have gone on mountain hikes on all our stops in the Marquesas and spent this morning continuing that tradition (Fakarava is notably absent of anything resembling a hill, let alone a mountain, so I didn’’t really hike much there). 

While my peers were sitting in pews, Aleja and I went on a hike to the top of Mt. Duff.  At least, that was our intent.  We still aren’’t entirely sure which of the two mountains we climbed.  The guide books and maps say we hiked Mt. Duff, but the trail sign said we hiked up Mt. Mokoto.  The point is, we hiked up to an elevation of about 1,300 feet along mostly goat paths, through pine forests that looked strangely like ones I’’ve seen on the east coast of the US, and had lunch with a remarkable 360 view of the island and the reef beyond.  I’’m sure there was an equally impressive view on the other peak.

Turns out, a lot of people decided to hike today.  It’s unsurprising, not much is open on Sundays here, and while you do a lot of walking back and forth on deck, nothing compares to a good trek through a tropical forest. But most people hiked the other peak, the one labeled Mt. Duff by the trail marker and Mokoto by everything else.  According to our neighbor on the fishing yacht from New Zealand, the locals have a record climb to the top of that peak of 30 minutes.  I don’‘t think any of our crew was anywhere close to that.  But I might give it a try tomorrow afternoon.  Wish me luck!

Shout out to my friend Allison who is celebrating her 23rd birthday today, and to my family back home who helped me get here, particularly my amazing mother who will be happy to hear that I am still alive and haven’’t fallen overboard or been eaten by a shark. 

- Rachael


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