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

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

August 01, 2019

A Whale of a Time

Genevieve Coblentz-Strong, Izzy Handal, Lena Schumacher, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New Jersey

Current Position
42°12.971’N x 70°14.391’W

Course & Speed
EWE 105°, speed is 5 knots

Sail Plan
Main S’l, Main Stay’l, Fore Stay’l, Jib

5 knots of wind (beaufort force is 2), Clear skies and beautifulsunset

What a day! The students on the Cramer began their first watch schedules. We had a great class on the sails, lines, including what the names of the sails on the Cramer are, and how they work, as well as securing and coiling ropes. We had our first oceanographic ‘super’ station to sample and collect scientific data on Stellwagen Bank. Our day even included “charismatic megafauna” sightings.

Shortly after noon, we spotted the first “megafauna.”  The Stellwagen Bank is known to be a whale feeding ground and we were told that the probability of seeing a whale was almost guaranteed this time of year: this turned out to be true. As we neared two whale watching boats, we saw many whales. We soon realized that one of the whales was a fin whale and the other three were humpbacks. The humpbacks really put on a show for us! They fluked many times, but we didn’t see any breaches.

Before the lab watch got side tracked with whales, we analyzed pH and chlorophyll-a data. We also had the opportunity to see fluorescing dinoflagellates! It was like Christmas in July (except it is now the first day of August)! We were analyzing our first oceanographic samples from Stellwagen Bank, which showed us why the whales were there in the first place—LOTS of food in the form of plankton!

The food on board (for us) is great! Waffles for breakfast, stir-fry for lunch, and gazpacho for dinner! What would we do without our stewards?!

To our families and friends: We miss you alot, but are having lots of fun! See you soon!

-Genevieve, Izzy, & Lena



Hi Mama, Papa, und Kathrin. I miss you guys but I'm having lots of fun!! See you soon. Hab euch Lieb- Lena

Hi mom! I heard you have the flu and I am really worried about you. I hope you are doing better. I am healthy and doing well, no need to worry about me. I am having a great time! We got to see whales today so of course I am extremely excited and happy. I hope you get better quickly! Miss you and love you. Grosses Bises. -Love Genevieve

Hi Mom and Dad and Ebie and Henry! Miss you all so much! xo, Sarah W

Hi family, I am having a great time. I saw many whales today and the most beautiful sunset ever. Meeting a ton of cool people. Please clean my room so the carpet can get replaced lol thank you! Love you all and miss you give Charlie a hug.

To my family and friends, life aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer is secluded from the outside world, but I still think about you guys and how you are doing. The past few days I have been surprised by the friendliness of the crew and of my fellow students. There is almost always something to get done, which is fine because my watch and I work very well as a team. I hope the family camping trip is going well, I will see you in Portland! - Liam

Categories: Corwith Cramer,SEA Expedition, • Topics: sea expedition 2  life at sea  megafauna • (6) Comments
Previous entry: Here’s to policy!    Next entry: Galley Reflections


#1. Posted by Marilyne Coblentz on August 02, 2019

Hi Genevieve,
How fitting that you contributed to the first student blog, and it happens to pertain to whale sightings and fluorescing dinoflagellates! We can imagine how exuberant you must have been. I’m feeling much better and relieved that you are well. We look forward to reading more about your adventures. Enjoy every minute. Miss you, too. Love, Mom

#2. Posted by Kathrin Schumacher on August 02, 2019

Hi Lena and all,
Sounds like you’re having a great time! I wish I could see all the amazing aquatic life too instead of just reading about it in my summer work. Dad says learn all the knots so you can use them when sailing with him in the future. Enjoy!!

#3. Posted by Jen Rhodes-Kropf on August 03, 2019

Dear Maya, Adventuresome, exciting storm! We hope the zofran is helping:) We are at the Meadow House with grandma and grandpa. Maddy and Kate say they miss you as we all do:) The carpet looks great:) Love the blog and hearing all you are learning. Fun to all. Lots of love

#4. Posted by Phyllis on August 03, 2019

hi Sarah W….I’m loving following this blog and your adventure at sea.  look forward to hearing all about it when you get to Chatham Gardens after your trip.  xox P

#5. Posted by Izzy on August 03, 2019

Izzy,  A real whale tail up close and personnel. wow!!!  Have fun and take lots of pics.
Love , Mom and Dad

#6. Posted by Inge SCHUMACHER on August 04, 2019

Hallo Lena!
Schön zu lesen wie viel Spass dir das Segen macht. Ich wünsche euch allen noch weiterhin eine gute Fahrt.
LG Oma Inge



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

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