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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

December 05, 2019

Science, Sea Legs, and Singalongs (Oh My!)

Izzy Slaymaker, Tufts University


Above: Science in action!; Below: Sunset singalong.

Ship's Log

Current position
14˚33’N x 062˚03’W 50 nautical miles West of Martinique

2 knots

Sail plan
Sailing a port tack with the mains’l, mainstays’l, and forstays’l

Weather conditions
29˚C, 2/8 cloud coverage (cumulus)

Sea conditions
3 foot waves

current heading

Souls on board

Ahoy readers! Welcome back to another exciting installment of the C-289 blog! Yesterday was our first full day underway after our Grenada port stop. With all the Mama Mia we’ve been singing, the phrase that comes to mind is “here we go again.” This time, however, we jumped back into underway life with much more ease, thanks to our steadily strengthening sea legs. The ship rocks and rolls just as much, but it’s easier to stay balanced and the seasickness has eased. (Dare I say I enjoy the motion rocking me to sleep?)

For my 0700 morning watch, Muriel and I were in lab, which means lots and lots of science! ‘Twas a busy morning with deployments: we did a Neuston net tow, a plankton net tow, a surface station, and a carousel deployment. In layman’s terms, we threw a lot of fancy science equipment overboard. By far the most exciting was the Secchi disk deployment, which involves placing bets on how far below the surface it can be seen. Jess, our wonderful B Watch scientist, won the gold and glory for her bet of 25 meters. Finally, the most scientific task: lab haikus.

After yet another scrumptious lunch, the whole ship gathered on deck for afternoon class. We practiced gybing (NOT jiving), in which the boat turns its stern into the wind to switch directions. This requires changing the angle of every sail that is set. I love hauling lines because it’s challenging and secretly makes me feel very nautical. Just like developing our sea legs, we’ve become more comfortable with the ins and outs of sailing (one might say we’ve learned the ropes). Together, we’ve expanded our sailing vocabulary to include words like “jib jigger,” “up behind," and my personal favorite, “baggywrinkle.” Sometimes I think about the fact that sailing is class and the boat is our classroom, and I feel incredibly lucky to be here.

After class, I hung out on deck with my good friend Liz. We studied some boat stuff and made up a parody to “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers about the experience of waking up for breakfast: “huungry… it’s too hot I cannot sleep… why isn’t my fan working?... the other watch is giggling… but it’s just the price I pay, while we are underway… open up my buunk curtaaaains... no, no more shuut eyeee.” Without our phones, our class has drawn on our bountiful creativity to make our own music. We have made many a painful parody about boat life, but we are yet to learn a traditional sea shanty. A few of the musically talented among us brought instruments, including my classmate Rebecca and our resident coral expert Kersten. In the evening, Rikki, Valeriia, Dan, Francesca, and I gathered around Kersten and her guitar for a scenic sunset singalong. And just like that, another magical moment at sea.

- Izzy Slaymaker, Tufts University

P.S. Hello to my friends and family who are keeping up with our salty adventures! I miss you all and love you lots. AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Caribbean Reef Expedition, • Topics: c289  study abroad  life at sea • (1) Comments
Previous entry: Back at Sea    Next entry: Fisherman Science!


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 Kathryn Bingham on December 08, 2019

It has been amazing following all the blogs and reading everyday what everyone is learning and watching the route you are taking.  Hope everyone stays well.  How exciting for all you!!!



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