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
April 27, 2017
Sweet Life on Deck
27° 54.07’ N x 071° 16.78’ W
Description of location
426nm SW of Bermuda, In the heart of the Gyre
Weather / Wind
Sunny, SExE force 3 winds
We have officially left the coastal waters of the Bahamas, and have entered the high seas, en route to Bermuda. Today was another eventful day onboard the Cramer; standing watch, collecting samples, conducting genetic extractions/analyses, and setting sails. During the allocated “class time,” the crew divided into watch teams (A, B, and C) and set all nine of the Cramer’s sails. “Haul away mainstays’l halyard!” “Ease port jib sheet!” “Haul away tops’l brails!” “Pass the forestays’l!” In a frenzy of activity, the mates yelled out commands, which the student crew faithfully repeated. With so much going on, it is necessary to repeat the commands you are given, to ensure efficiency. After all that work, we deployed the small inflatable rescue boat so we could take a picture of our beautiful ship. It was a blast!
In general, I have adjusted relatively well to life at sea; although I have NOT gotten fully functional sea legs. The other day, you probably could make a ten minute video filled with clips of me wiping out, slipping, tripping, bumping into things or other people. I’ll get there; slowly but surely. Additionally, molecular work is very hard to do on a ship that is constantly moving in an unpredictable fashion. You never know when we’ll hit the next big wave that will tempt our samples to go flying off of the lab countertop. In my opinion, this just makes the challenge all the more exciting!
When not busy standing watch or working on our research projects, there are plenty of activities to keep us entertained aboard the Corwith Cramer. One of my favorite of these activities is to sit out on the bowsprit. Safely clipped in with a harness, you can sit out on the large hammock of netting, watch the bow of the ship slice through the water, observe the on-watch crew hard at work setting and striking sails, and watch the ocean rise and fall above your very feet. Out there, one hour feel like five minutes!
Lastly, I’d like to leave you with my favorite on-watch experience. Last night, I was posted on lookout duty around 2130; looking out for the lights of other ships on the horizon. With no ships in sight, my eyes would wander up to the glittering sky (where hundreds of stars shimmered), or the glittering water (where thousands of tiny bioluminescent organisms emitted light with every breaking wave.) That’s when I saw it. A white figure under the black ocean, flitting back and forth underneath the bowsprit, leaving a glittering blue bioluminescent wake. Every now and then, this mysterious creature would jump out of the water and exhale, only to dive back down and continue flitting back and forth. The moment I realized this mysterious creature was a curious dolphin, it was gone. It was easily one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
I have been having an absolute blast onboard the Cramer. It is nice to have such a tight knit community of people onboard a ship where all that surrounds us is 360° ocean views! I can’t wait for the next legs of this voyage.
PS. Hello to Mom, Dad, Kyrsten, and all my other wonderful family and friends reading this post; love you all! Kyrsten, I haven’t gone swimming with sharks yet, but I can’t make any promises it’ll stay that way.