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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

October 07, 2016

Sweaty bodies, sweating lines

Yarrow Randall, American University

The Global Ocean: Europe

All of A watch at 1900. Amanda, Dan, Meredith, Ida, and Yarrow.

Ship's Log

39°10.9’ x 002°45.3’E

Western Mediterranean, south of Mallorca


Souls on Board

Hello from the middle of the sea!

After the wild winds of last night, walking up on deck into the cool breezes and sunshine the following afternoon was quite refreshing. Earlier, the Morning Watch deployed the shipek grab twice and collected sediment samples for Dan and Ellen’s research project. They also deployed the carousel to get water samples at different depths for Allie, Jared and Spencer’s project on nutrient levels.

To continue smooth sailing, we had to gybe in order to get ourselves on a starboard tack to put up the jib tops’l (JT) for the first time this trip. Once we hauled the JT up, we had to gybe again to continue on a port tack. To make sure the lines are properly secure and tight, we have to sweat the lines, which involves pulling the line in a triangle motion to pull out the slack. It is a lot of work and in the sun, results in a sweaty body. The process of setting or trimming the sails can also be a bit perplexing, this time, I understood about 40% of what Allison (our deck officer) asked me to do without further explanation, which is up from 0% just a few short days ago.

My assignment for the day was lab work, but the whole watch needs to work together to handle the sails and get us set on a proper course with the right sail plan for the winds we have. Once that was done, I returned to the lab with Ida, and we started to process the samples from the earlier deployments with the direction and assistance of our assistant scientist, Gabi. We sifted the sediments through sieves and saved the larger organisms and shells for Dan and Ellen. We also processed the chlorophyll a and pH from the different depths. It was not just an afternoon of working through the samples, though. I also had a chance to do one of my favorite tasks in lab; the 6 minute observations every hour. For 6 minutes we look around for any birds, fish, mammals, and marine debris in the environment around us. It’s super awesome to set aside the time to just observe and be aware of our surroundings.

Watch was broken up by our afternoon class in which we learned how phosphate and nitrate levels are measured during port stops and we learned about temporal patterns in our temperature and salinity along our cruise track. We also learned how the mechanisms of the carousel work and how to properly collect the water samples from the niskin bottles.

After watch was over at 1900 we had a nice dinner of steak, sweet potato mash, and zucchini. The evening was spent playing games, working on homework, and crafting for a surprise.

- Yarrow

PS: To my lovely family and friends all over the world – I miss you all and think about you often. I am sending you all my love!

Categories: Corwith Cramer,The Global Ocean: Europe, • Topics: c269  science  research  sailing • (1) Comments


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 Sylvia Barclay on October 13, 2016

Sounds like a lot of work, but fun and interesting, also.  Hope you prior training with me at the Road Scholar Sailing Camp helped, NOT!  You will have a new appreciation of sails for sure.
Thinking of you often,



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