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

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 07, 2017

Seeing Birds on Field Day

Celeste Pallone, A Watch, Barnard College of Columbia University

Caribbean Reef Expedition

Above: People looking at seabirds. Below: Celeste, Alex, and Joe

Ship's Log

Noon Position
14° 40.687’ N x 061° 54.827’ W

Description of location
36 miles west of Dominica

Ship Heading

Ship Speed
4.6 kts


Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
4/8th clouds, wind from the North East, sailing under the four lowers towards Montserrat

Souls on Board

Yesterday was the Cramer’s self-care day, aka Field Day. On Field Day we clean the ship from top to bottom and my watch was responsible for the galley. Though my shipmates from A house and my friends at home know I love to tidy up, cleaning while the Cramer is underway is a whole different story. After we cleared out all the foodstuffs, pots, dishes, etc. using a fire line of about 15 people up the forward ladder, we got to the good part. The next hour involved Joe, Cassie, Timesha, and I sliding around countertops, across walls, and along floors. Over the past week on the Cramer, I have gotten used to what I call “mountain goating” in the galley: finding any surface to lean and support yourself on, while climbing up to high shelves. After an afternoon of scraping and scrubbing, my morale was low.

I heard an echo down the galley staircase say, “Celeste to science!” Confused, I ran up on deck to see who needed me. Our Chief Scientist and Captain were on the quarter deck and about 20 of my shipmates were watching something amazing: seabirds flying with the Cramer. Two masked boobies were feeding in the wake of the ship, about 10 feet from us. They plunge dove into the water to grab fish and were waiting above the surface to look for flyers. Soon after, a red-footed booby approached the pair, wanting some food as well.

We are here in the Caribbean exploring the region’s coral reefs, but in times like these when we are underway and far from shore these seabirds are signals of life and land and are entertainment for wandering eyes. I am glad to be able to share my interest in seabirds with my shipmates, who are now fellow bird nerds.

My Wednesday began during evening watch, surrounded by tired eyes and Oreos. We watched a super moon rise, played dodge-squall, and learned lines in the dark. After a good night’s sleep, briefly interrupted by a breakfast of French toast, A-watch was energized for the afternoon. Every day I learn more about sailing, the ocean, and my wonderful shipmates.

- Celeste

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Caribbean Reef Expedition, • Topics: c276 • (1) Comments
Previous entry: Be the Gimbal    Next entry: Towards the Smoking Sea


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 Jeff Benz on December 07, 2017

It’s very interesting to read everyone’s account of life on the Cramer - keep up the good commentary.  We wish you all good health, success in your science work, and calm seas.  Joe, we love you!



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

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