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 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 01, 2016

Williams-Mystic S16 is Underway

Mauro, Admissions Director, Williams-Mystic


Setting sails to get underway.

Ship's Log

19° 18 ‘N x 066° 11 ’ W


5 knots

Weather / Wind
Wind Force 4 SE x E

Greetings from the waters outside of San Juan, Puerto Rico! My name is Mauro, the Admissions Director with Williams-Mystic, and current resident-for the next 10 days--of the foc'sle upper bunk, port side (in an area affectionately known as the Anti-Gravity Chamber). I'm here with 17 great students and Teaching Assistant Hannah Whalen and Professors Lisa Gilbert and Mike Nishizaki on Williams-Mystic's Spring 16 (S16) Offshore Voyage.

S16's start to this voyage-though delayed by roughly 3 hours at the offset at the airport due to, of all things, the pilot being sick-has been phenomenal. Our students have proven to be flexible and capable travelers (many, from my observations, possessing the invaluable skill of making a pillow out of luggage and being able to sleep on an airport floor) but, more importantly, a flexible and capable crew aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer. We could not have dreamed of better weather to greet us in PR-nor a better crew and captain!

After a quick taxi drive from the airport to our port, we were greeted by the captain and his crew. Orientation Part 1 ended early on our first day, with Quiet Ship at 2100-an opportunity for a full night's rest that everyone took.

Day 2 began early, with B-watch waking up at 0600 (and other watches at 0640), and with a breakfast of fruit, blueberry muffins, and spicy brown sugar bacon (the stewards are the BEST). Our schedule for the day:

0800: All hands on deck muster for Orientation.

0805 to 0830: Pin rail orientation (our diagrams come in very handy these first few days)

0830 to 1015: Overview of station bill and other operating procedures (watch standing, walkthroughs)

1015 to 1030: Snack

1030 to 1230: Overview of safety and emergency response procedures, followed by drills and practice (we make red Gumby suits look great)

1230 to 1315: Lunch

1315 to 1430: Science deployment in harbor: all the students assisted the science team with the deployment of a Secchi disk, Shipbek Grab, Microplastics sampling, and collection of water samples for Chlorophyll and Phosphate concentration sampling.

1500: After a flurry of activity to prepare to set sail, we waited until an issue with our anchor was solved (a sailor's life, we were told, is to hurry up and wait). There was a long period of silence, as if students and staff stood at the starting line of a race, waiting for the starting gun to go off. Once Captain Amster gave the order to set sails--fired the starting gun, if you will-everyone sprang into action. A good, strong wind has been keeping us steady underway.

On last evening's watch, Chelsea (URI '18) stood at the helm of the Cramer, while her classmate Erica (Williams '18) worked with Second Mate Eric on the bowsprit. Kenny (SUNY Maritime '18) and Nicola (CUNY Hunter '16) walked carefully in, on, and around the ship conducting their hourly walkthrough.

I had the opportunity to stand the 2300 to 0300 frame with B-watch. I believe we were all impressed with each other's abilities to navigate, find, and adjust as needed lines in such a dark setting. Jessica (Maine Maritime '16) stood bow watch for quite a while, her dark shadow constantly scanning the world around us for obstructions and other marine traffic, becoming a reassuring part of the horizon each time we glanced towards the foredeck. Erica (Williams '18) and Marlo (Smith '18) worked in the lab, analyzing the contents of our Neuston net tow-a procedure that required Thomas (SFSU '16), Rachel (Wesleyan '17), and Lizzie (Millersville '18) to help maneuver the Cramer using a double gibe. All of our activity constantly stirred up bioluminescent creatures, making the white-capped waves around us to glow turquoise green.

Day 3 promises to be as equally exciting with our first onboard, under-sail lectures beginning at 1430. Until then, let us hope that the days continue to be warm, the stars bright, and the winds fair!

- Mauro

Categories: Corwith Cramer, • Topics: williams-mystic  c263c • (0) Comments


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



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

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