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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

March 22, 2016

Rounding the Nubbin

Tess Saburn, Saint Michael’s College

Finding our way!

Ship's Log

17° 30.2’N x 071° 31.8’W

Description of location
Around the Nubbin of The Dominican Republic

Weather / Wind
A smidge windy, but it’s been a lovely day

Souls on Board

Ahoy again! Today was the third and final day of our change project presentations! All we have left is the final write up of what we have learned about our topics at different port stops! I find it challenging to comprehend that there are less than three days left onboard Mamma Cramer with all my shipmates. From Woods Hole throughout the Caribbean, we have studied together, written papers together, raised and struck sails, written some more papers, and, of course, said hello to some whales. There are so many highlights from this trip that it would take way too long to type out, so I will try my best to focus on last night and today’s main events.

Last night we deployed a 2 meter net, letting the wire out to about 450 meters! The net traveled below the 1% light level of the ocean; meaning it went down to where Dory and Marlin found the angler fish (Finding Nemo
reference). Sadly, we did not scoop up an angler, but we did pick up a pyrosome! I have never seen anything like it before and it is pretty weird to think about a whole other world living below us with organisms such as these (check out Google for some images maybe?). When it first came out of the water it was about 5 inches long, clear-ish, and hard. Once it was put in formalin it shrunk up into a fuzzy thing with a shade of pink. It is a bioluminescent organism and a cousin of the salp, that’s about all that I can tell you about it.

This morning we sent down another long wire deployment of a free CTD with three stacks of Styrofoam cups in stockings attached to it. We all had the chance to decorate our own cups, and after the wire was deployed for about 2,000m again, the cups came back with the air pressed out of them so now a bunch of mini cups! Once again my mind was blown!

I have learned so much on this trip…not simply oceanography, nautical science, maritime studies and such, but about myself and my shipmates. Dynamics have changed from Woods Hole to the ship, and as my watch leader, Rocky, said, “the ship brings out the best in people.” The sense of camaraderie, community, and family that emerged over the six weeks amazes me. I remember showing up to B house and going to our first meeting all together having no idea who anyone was. Now I cannot imagine not seeing all these faces 24/7. I was nervous about the idea of the bunk being our only personal space, but in the end it has worked out quite fine. It is unreal to be surrounded by so many phenomenal human beings which I learn from each and every day. I wish I could thank everyone individually but that would take a lot of time. I appreciate everyone onboard the Cramer in their own way as they shine their own lights in the world. Together we illuminate the ship with our life and personalities.

I have learned much about my fellow classmates and all the faculty and staff who have shared this experience with us. I will never forget the time I have spent on the Cramer with such a wonderful group of people. I have seen myself and others grow from day one on the Cramer, not knowing one line from the next, to becoming Junior Watch Officers, instructing others on the sail plans. It is my hope that, as we venture off in our various directions, we continue to absorb our experiences as we have over the last six weeks. I hope everyone can pick out some particularly positive things to keep with them, and that all can see how great they are. I am humbled by the people around me. Thank you for a wonderful trip, thank you for being my shipmate, thank you for teaching me, and thank you for being you.

I like to say that we are all beautiful flowers, so Mamma Cramer is a beautiful meadow filled with bountiful flowers all tall and strong.

Thank you again, stay cool C-264,

- Tess


Previous entry: Seals, Penguins, and Little Critters!    Next entry: Where are we?


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 Tish Saburn on March 23, 2016

Tess…I am speechless! Yes, you are all beautiful, colorful, unique flowers that have grown into a colorful meadow while onboard mamma Cramer! Stay happy and hold these friendships and memories close to your heart now and always!

So excited to see you…we miss you terribly!

#2. Posted by Tim Saburn on March 23, 2016

Beautifully written and so Tess. We love you, are very proud of you and miss you very much!
P.s. That old Easter bunny is going to have to send his map a long way to reach you this year!

#3. Posted by Linda Reynolds on March 23, 2016

Ahoy Tess—-such thoughtful,  heartfelt sentiments….wonderful, simply wonderful!!

To quote Dr. Seuss—-“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Linda XOXO

#4. Posted by Fritz G. de Lange on March 24, 2016

Beautifully said and summarized Tess. Congratulations to all of you for a great journey! I am sure you have all gained so much from this experience. Thank you to Capt. Cris and all the amazing people at Sea Semester for this unique and wonderful learning experience.

#5. Posted by Deb & Dave on March 25, 2016

Beautiful.  Wow! So glad you have all had this wonderful experience.

Love and miss you Tess! You’re a truly special person.




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