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, 2019

The Day of a Sailor at SEA

Thomas Glanville, Tennessee Technical University


Above: Stability good, make boat float; Below: Class on the quarterdeck

Ship's Log

16˚ 25’N, 062˚ 28’W (approximately fifty nautical miles SW of the of Montserrat)

5.5 knots

Sail Plan
3 of the 4 lowers with a single reef on the main and the jib furled

27C, mostly clear skies, force 4 winds from the NE

3 ft. seas


Souls on board

My day started with an evening watch from 1900 yesterday to 0100 today. After that, I spent some time hanging out on deck and was asleep by 0130ish. While on the ship, sleep has come pretty easy. My bunk is in the main salon, in the upper corner by the engine room. It can get hot, but not too bad. Last night I found that, if I aim my fan more towards the ceiling instead of my face, the whole bunk feels cooler. Fingers crossed it works again tonight. I ended up sleeping until late into the day and woke to the sound of lunch!

Food is always a great way to wake up. My next watch wasn’t until 1300 and my watch meeting wasn’t until 1130, so I had some time to just hang out in the salon and banter with my friends after eating. This group of people is pretty great at that. I feel like I could strike up a conversation with anyone and we’ll end up laughing at some point. During the watch meeting, we did our check-ins with our watch officers Christine and Jess, just to see how we were all doing. After that, we played a few games to keep up morale. Today we did this Mad-Lib-style finger tattoo thing. We had the person to our left and right put a word on our fingers with a sharpie. There were some pretty fun ones, like “Boat Soap” or “Swag Bean.” Mine was “Rope Frog,” which I though fit pretty well with all the line work I get to do. After that, my watch started. I got to strike and furl the jib and then took the helm until class.

We had two classes today. Our first class was a man overboard drill. My Watch, B Watch, is the sail control team, so in an emergency we are in charge of handling the sails. This means our roles are different depending on how we’re sailing at the time. Today I was handling the main sheet while the rest of my watch was on the stays’ls. It was a difficult drill and there was room to improve, but that’s what drills are for! However, if it had been a real emergency, the crew would have shouldered more of the burden. Class also featured two student presentations. One was on the concepts of boat stability and the other was a science report on the differences between nighttime and daytime ocean samples.  After that, my watch had our first Ocean Science and Public Policy class on the ship with Chief Historian Ben. The discussion was about how our individual research projects might be useful to policymakers. We also talked about some of the policy challenges on Grenada. We had just left Grenada a couple of days ago, but it already felt so far away while we were talking.

After class, my watch continued as normal. I walked the deck to coil and hang any lines that were still out on the deck, passed the fore stays’ls to catch the wind, did a couple of boat checks, and took the helm again. Towards the end of my watch, Ben shadowed me for my last boat check. I walked him through the ship and showed him my routine. Along the way, I tried to explain why I was doing a thing the way I did and answered any questions he had. At the end he thanked me and said I was an expert. The complement made me chuckle. I guess I’ve been so immersed in learning new things and self-improvement that I hadn’t realized I had gotten good at something.  After that, I took the helm for the last time before our watch got called for dinner.

Now I’m sitting here on the ship’s computer laughing with my some of my shipmates as I type up my blog for the day.  I‘ve made some great friends this semester. Now that we’ve made it to the ship, I can wholeheartedly say that the hardest part about this trip will be saying farewell to everyone. However, I’m trying not to think about it as goodbye. Everyone will still be there. It’s really just the next phase of our individual

- Thomas Glanville, Tennessee Technical University

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Caribbean Reef Expedition, • Topics: c289  study abroad  science • (1) Comments
Previous entry: Fisherman Science!    Next entry: Sea Adventures: Sour Cream or Yogurt?


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 Bruce H. Glanville on December 10, 2019

Weeks of hands on learning, a lifelong knowledge base to build on. Soak it up!



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

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