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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

February 17, 2016

SSV Corwith Cramer departure from St Croix

Jeffrey M. Schell, Chief Scientist

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

2nd Mate Rocky leads the students in the setting of theMains’l.

Ship's Log

18° 10.5’ N x 064° 41.2’W

Description of location
North of St Croix

020° per ship’s compass

6 knots

Weather / Wind
Warm and welcome breeze, a few passing clouds

Souls on Board

It is with mixed emotions that we depart from Christiansted, St Croix for the open-ocean and distant ports of call.  There is an undeniable sense of adventure – braving the winds, weather, and waves; travel to places new and unfamiliar!  Yet, there is also a hint of trepidation and sadness as we say goodbye, for now, to family and friends, to the comforts onshore and familiar routines.  Though all onshore will be missed we are heartened in knowing we join a new family of shipmates onboard Mama Cramer.

You have already met / heard from Chris, our captain, in an earlier blog as well as Craig, our maritime studies professor.  I am the ship’s chief scientist and have sailed with SEA full time since 2002.  Peter is our resident author, artist, and accomplished mariner who joins us as the ship’s illustrator; guiding students in the creation of their natural history journals.  Rounding out the crew we have the professionally trained mates: Eric, Rocky, and Ryan.  Sailing as science staff are:  Kelsey, Janet, and Marah.  And finally we have the talented steward Tia who keeps us all running on her amazing food and Alex, the engineer who keeps the Cramer running on those days we cannot find the wind.  Together, with the students, we are the crew onboard SEA Semester cruise C-264 – Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean.  In the days to come you will hear from each of the students.  But for now let me tell you a story of our day.

As I write this note we are sailing halfway between St Croix and St John, steering 020° psc with a single-reefed mainsail, our two staysails, and the jib making a comfortable 6 knots.  The winds are ESE, Beaufort force 5 and the skies are mostly clear but for a few cumulous clouds trailing to leeward of each island.  The tropical sun is warm, the breeze pleasant, and the smell of applied sunscreen lingers in the air. 

Students are in their Watches learning how to operate the ship and establish their sea legs.  We have had our first meal on gimbaled tables and gasped in awe at the concept – “what the tables aren’t moving, we are?!”  We have already made several scientific observations for student projects, including our first sighting of Sargassum!  To understand my enthusiasm for this drifting algae please take some time to check out the SEA Research website page on the subject. 

There is so much more to share about our first day at sea but I will leave the rest of the stories to the students themselves.  Judging by the smiles upon their faces I believe they are happy with their decision to join S.E.A.

Stay tuned for further adventures from the Corwtih Cramer.


PS To my darling rose, sweet dreams.


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 Steve on February 18, 2016

Rocky, “You’re so cool.”



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