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SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
July 10, 2014
S254: The Interviews
5° 05.2’N x 166° 08.0’W
Good evening and welcome to a special segment of the S254 blog, these are your intrepid C watch officers Shlee and Chrissy reporting live from 5° North News at 2100. Tonight we bring you breaking news on the goings-on aboard the SSV Robert C Seamans. We interviewed several crew members here in the Pacific on their thoughts on a variety of topics and events that we have experienced lately. The format for the first set of questions was rapid-fire, stream-of-consciousness answers in order to get to the heart of the matter. We then followed up with some hard-hitting emotional questions to really capture what life at sea is like. Here, in their own words, is a snapshot of life aboard.
First we started with some basics to get a sense of whats going on these days on deck. Our first question- How many sails?- prompted answers ranging from 2, 8, 10, or 12, to some less obvious choices such as Pineapple, and Purple, and What? Fear not, land folk, our sail handling has never been better. We suspect some participants were taken off guard.
Our second question- Course ordered?- asked about the course that the captain had instructed the on watch to steer at the time. This prompted a flurry of answers, mostly numerical, that were within spitting distance of the actual course ordered (195° psc) to wildcard responses such as Course Steered, or, more disturbingly, 4.
For the next set of questions we wanted to know what was going on both biologically and meteorologically. Question number three- Name a plankton- attempted to address the former. Those 100-counts must be exciting these days, for while copepods were the popular choice, but we also got Zooxanthellae (shoutout to you coral enthusiasts out there), cryptosporidium, radiolarian, anabaena, as well as the lesser-known Zubenelgenube, and Phil.
On the weather side of things, we asked our participants to give us a one-word answer on their thoughts on the ITCZ. For those of you who don‘t know, ITCZ stands for the Intertropical Convergence Zone, an area of converging air masses that cause unsettled weather, a.k.a. squalls. It also happens to be the feature that we’ve been living inside of for the past few days. Most answers referred to the rain and a sense of deep personal discomfort- rainy, damp, stormy, hot, and cloudy,- resulting in the most homogeneous answer set we received during this entire interview. The only outlier was, again, Phil.
Slapping on our sleuth hats, these intrepid reporters commenced with our second set of questions. As many of you know from previous blogs, we recently said goodbye to our first of several ARGO floats that will be deployed throughout the trip. Goodbyes are always hard, so we asked people to describe their personal sense of loss upon launching the ARGO. Their answers speak for themselves: No, Yes? Good riddance! Come back! Cool crate! Empty nest syndrome. And finally, from an anonymous chief scientist, Fulfillment.
Finally, we concluded our line of questioning with another doozy: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Many were unsure, but among the definitive answers were Grad school, Medical school, Shoot, The States or Sweden, In the sea, Planet Earth, and, again from an anonymous chief scientist, At the E-stop button.
From all of these varied answers and murky uncertainty, it may seem like we on the Seamans are, at best, confused. But these reporters have observed nothing but high spirits, great curiosity, a thirst for knowledge, and a desperate desire to be rid of late afternoon impromptu interviews, the likes of which we have never seen. We may not know where well be in five years, what sails are up (or on the boat?), or what kind of zooplankton Phil is, but one thing is for sure: were having a blast.
From the news desk here in the library, this is Shlee and Chrissy, signing off. Stay classy, land.