Ready for an adventure with a purpose? Request info »
  • Search SEA Semester, Summer and High School Programs

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

January 30, 2017

Williams-Mystic S17 Heads Offshore

Lisa Gilbert, Chief Scientist, Williams-Mystic

SEA Semester

A watch students Bridget (URI) and Emma (Stony Brook) try on their immersion suits. B watch students Nickie (Bowdoin), Fabiola (College of New Rochelle), Rachel (UVM) and Sarah (UConn) enjoying a short break during our morning training drills.

Ship's Log

18° 27’N x 66°04’W

7 nautical miles north of San Juan

Good afternoon from the SSV Corwith Cramer. I'm Lisa Gilbert, Chief Scientist and Williams-Mystic professor, here with my colleagues Prof. Mike Nishizaki and Teaching Assistant Hannah Whalen, the Spring 2017 Williams-Mystic students, and Cramer's professional crew.  The S17 Williams-Mystic students arrived Mystic Seaport just one week ago from colleges and universities all over the country, and now here we are 7 nautical miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. 

We arrived San Juan yesterday and students were split into three watches, each with a mate and an assistant scientist.  The watches have to work together closely throughout our 10 day field seminar, so they immediately began getting to know each other and learning ship routines and safety. This morning Captain Sarah led safety drills and Assistant Scientists Abby, Farley, and Marissa trained students in proper protocols for water and sediment sampling from the ship.  After lunch, we got underway with Maggie (St. Lawrence) and Muriel (UPenn) from C watch at the helm and on lookout, respectively.  All other students helped to set sail.  Within an hour we had set the main staysail, the fore staysail, the jib, and the jib topsail.

Although everyone helped get underway, this afternoon we began rotating in 6 hour shifts with just one watch "on," taking their turn sailing the ship and collecting data in the lab.  The other watches stand down to relax or sleep. Right now C watch is on. A few members of A and B are scattered around the ship, some reading or writing in their journals, but many of them are gathered on the quarter deck to talk and listen to Jason S (McDaniel) play the ukulele.

In the main salon, where we eat our meals, Nickie (Bowdoin) was pouring out a fruit smoothie for afternoon snack when we heard the call "whales on the port side!"   Kathryn (Millersville) and Ellie (Yale) and a few other students had just gone to their bunks for a nap, but heard the excitement and quickly joined the crowd on deck.  Four pilot whales crossed astern of us, coming within 10 meters.  We watched in awe as these small black whales kept surfacing to breath and then disappeared from view. 

What a great start to our trip! 

Until next time,

Categories: Corwith Cramer, • Topics: science  research  megafauna  williams-mystic • (2) 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 Jean Terpstra on February 06, 2017

Greetings to all aboard.  It is great reading these entries and getting a sense of your days at sea!  Pilot whales, smoothies, sampling of sediments, man overboard drills (and all of us parents hope those skills will not need to be employed!)Cinnamon rolls and laughter; it sounds like a great adventure!  Be safe and keep your journals up, so we can all sail vicariously through your stories once you return.

#2. Posted by Dora Shaw. on February 06, 2017

Great to have news of my g/ daughter Marissa’s latest adventure. If there is ever a ” seniors ” programme planned , please add my name to the list



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

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