Current position of the SSV Corwith Cramer. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
February 15, 2018
Sailing and Science
18° 40.5’ N x 066° 05.4’ W
Ship’s Heading & Speed
Motor-sailing with reefed main, staysails, and jib, steering 125° per ship’s compass (psc).
Trade Winds continue from NE x E at Beaufort Scale 5, seas from ENE 7ft. with scattered cumulous clouds and warm tropical temperatures.
For those fortunate among you to have set sail on a long voyage nothing more need be said. You can share in the exhilaration of this moment that is encapsulated by the beaming smiles worn by each member of the ship's company. All the planning and preparation, hard work and sacrifice have led to this moment.
We are at sea, riding the waves upon a beautiful tall ship, the SSV Corwith Cramer.
Some of the essential hard work and preparation included hours of safety training that continued through to this morning. Students practiced and discussed their responsibilities during several emergency situations, which included Man-Over-Board, Fire and/or Flooding, and finally Abandon Ship. For some, this training meant they had to learn how to operate the ship's fire hose. We then all shared in a hearty meal of baked chicken, pasta salad, and green beans; our final meal on stationary tables, and then it was time to go.
Students and crew dispersed to their General Quarters stations, commands were given and executed with alacrity, dock lines and fenders came aboard and were stowed, sails were set, and soon Old San Juan and her cruise ships, her rich history, colorful architecture, and vibrant people receded from view across a blue horizon.
We have become an island unto ourselves; reliant upon our ship, our stores and supplies, and ourselves. As we each turn and look around we realize that our safety and well-being is now in the hands of our shipmates. I need them. They need me. The simultaneous feeling of responsibility and vulnerability is difficult to convey unless you too have been on a long voyage at sea.
As Chief Scientist for this voyage I would be remiss if I did not explain that the oceanographic lab has been busy as well. Even before we set sail we deployed our hydrophone to record the acoustic soundscape of the waters in San Juan harbor. As you might imagine a busy port city is just as loud below the sea surface as it is above.
As we left the harbor we also measured sea surface temperature, salinity and numerous other ocean characteristics. And while some students were setting sails others collected a series of water samples to determine nutrient, chlorophyll-a, and bacteria levels; all important measures of water quality that we will compare in each of our port stops.
Outside the harbor entrance we were greeted by a dramatic change in scenery, first we saw (and felt) the large waves brought in by the Trade Winds, then the pale green harbor water transitioned to a deep blue of the open sea, and finally, schools of flying fish, drifting patches of golden algae called Sargassum and seabirds foraging for food completed the scenic transformation.
Our voyage had finally begun!
What will we discover...
about the Caribbean,
about the sea,
Stayed tuned to the Corwith Cramer blog and you shall see.
Jeffrey M. Schell, Chief Scientist
PS To family, friends, and loved ones ashore, be well and sweet dreams. I will see you upon my return.