• Like Sea Education Association on Facebook
  • Follow Sea Education Association on Twitter
  • Follow SEA Semester on Instagram
  • Watch Sea Education Association on YouTube
  • Read SEA Currents
  • Listen to SEA Stories
  • 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.

SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer



Under a Super Moon

Gabrielle Ment, B Watch, Oberlin College
Oceans & Climate

Above: SUPER moonrise at sunset (photo by Robin). Below: Danny during Dawn Watch - sun rise, super moon set! (photo by Gabrielle)

Ship's Log

Current Position
26° 55.9’N x 017° 40.2’W

Ship’s Heading & Speed
250° PSC at 4.9kts

Sail Plan
Mains’l, mainstays’l, forestas’l, jib, and topsi’l

NE’ly winds at Beaufort force 4-5; 4-6 foot waves.

Souls on Board

Time aboard the Corwith Cramer moves neither fast nor slow, instead I feel a new connection to time that can travel and depends deeply on Cramer, the ocean, elemental processes and the celestial universe. I had the great privilege of being on the Dawn Watch from 0100 to 0700 for our first night at sea. With all the excitement and condensed learning of sails, boat and sail anatomy, lifestyle and rules on board, there was no way I could fall asleep before our much anticipated first watch at 0100 under the super moon.

Our first Dawn Watch was nothing short of awe inspiring. Our mate introduced us to the positions on deck: one person on the helm (steering Cramer), one person on look-out (at the bow of the ship), one person navigating (taking dead reckoning positions or celestial fixes) and doing hourly condition reports and boat checks, and two people in the lab doing science. I was assigned the helm first. With gentle tips from my mate, a calming sensation swept over my before shaky and nervous body. I could feel myself, Cramer, the sea and the moon attached to each other and engaging in a soothing and keen conversation. I felt great gratitude and awe for the world around me as our dependence on these elements began to really sink in.

Our watch group rotated positions approximately every hour, giving us all a chance to try everything. Before I knew I was back on the helm and the moon was nearing the horizon. I was soon to find out that on the full moon, the moon sets exactly as the sun rises. At about 0500 local time the first light hit the sky. The sun crept into sight, gradually hitting the highest clouds first, creating a cloud layer color coded effect across east of the sky. At the sun’s first peak over the horizon, the super moon slipped under our horizon due west.

Since Dawn Watch, we have been on watch for the Evening Watch from 1900-0100 and Afternoon Watch from 1300-1900. Both watches have had magnificent celestial sightings. Before our Evening Watch we got to see the sun set and 98% full super moon rise at the same instance. Just one day later, this evening, the sun set and a whole 20 minutes later the waning moon rose, glowing gorgeous bright yellow on our port quarter, approximately east.

Right at sun set, our watch, the engineers and a few interns began shooting celestial bodies with a sextant. With some calculating, we were able to obtain a fix, showing where we were in the ocean at that time. As I put my sextant away and looked around me, I realized that 360° around us the open ocean met the star filled sky. I felt nourished and taking care of by these great forces, guided us across the Atlantic. A sense of satisfaction, validation and budding excitement also swept over me to begin our Oceans and Climate research and contribute to data that will hopefully help combat climate change.

- Gabrielle

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: c270  life at sea • (2) Comments
Previous entry: On My Way!    Next entry: A Day in the Life


Leave a note for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Jessica on November 16, 2016

Thank you for the continued updates.  I get a sense of anticipatory joy, as it seems that with each successive blog post, I read reports of awe-filled discovery about self, the group, and nature.  Lots of love coming your way.  Godspeed!

#2. Posted by Jim Bowen on November 17, 2016

Thanks for a great description of the Super Moon!  Sounds like it was an incredible sight!  Makes me want to go on the same trip!  grin



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

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