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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer


March 04, 2016

A Day in Paradise

Katie Morrison, Sewanee: The University of the South

SEA Semester Caribbean

Position
20° 44.6’N x 069° 52.7’W

Location
Anchored on Silver Bank

Weather
winds ESE, Beaufort Force 2 – great for viewing whales, mild temperatures, sky scattered with high cirrus and low cumulous making for a picturesque contrast to the sapphire blue seas

Souls on Board

Helloooooooo (in a long deep whale voice), and whalecome to life on the Cramer at Silver Bank. Today was by far the most amazing day, as expected, at sea. For me, Katie Morrison, the day started dark and early at 0300, just like any other watch would as we handled sails, stood look out, steered the ship, ate cookies, and took care of the other responsibilities that are required to be a super salty sailor. However, we weren’t just going anywhere, we were on our way to see humpback whales.

By 0700 it was coming to the end of our watch, and we were turning over to C watch. During our turn over we got to experience a pod of dolphins frolicking around the bow right as the sun was rising. After that, I took a nap to rest up for when we would arrive in Silver Bank at 0900. 

When I awoke from my nap I headed right to deck to check out the action. In less than five minutes I saw a whale blow (the whale’s way of breathing). Furthermore, we also got to see these beautiful creatures BREACH, which is where these 25-35 ton body masses throw their weight completely out of the water. Silver Bank is by far one of the most remarkable places in the world, and “is over 5000 m tall (from seafloor to the top of the bank) and made mostly of coral growing on top of itself for over 140 million years, ever since the Atlantic Ocean opened.” Whales know how to pick the sweet spots!

Okay… so if you think this day already sounds unbelievable, just wait for what is about to come your way! While we had class today, on the quarterdeck with an ocean view and the sun in on our faces, we saw a mom and calf breach less than 100 meters off the starboard side. C-264, being the science nerds we are, jumped up and hurried to the starboard rail to catch the action and take some pictures. Eventually we had to go back to class and learn more about weather and our navigation plan to reach Cuba. Of course, about five minutes later more whales were breaching interrupting class. This time Chris, our captain, got the drone out to capture the whales up close and Janet got a great picture of the whales in mid-air.

After class we met with our advisors to discuss our progress this semester thus far, and our increased responsibilities in these upcoming weeks. For my student sailors reading this… we rock and keep up the good work! As we were preparing to leave Silver Bank, our curious humpback whale friends came to bid us farewell.

Once we had cleared the bank we took advantage of calm conditions to “open the pool.” That means that we got to take our turn as mammals swimming in the Atlantic. I brought my snorkel gear (and my disposal waterproof camera that never takes the picture when I want it to) with me hoping to see some marine life, but no luck …

“Oh whale” –Emma.  

Life is good. Do what you like and like what you do. Stay Whaley… “Whatever that means”-Melissa

Shout out to my friends and family back home. I miss and love you guys if y’all are reading this. YSR.

- Katie

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