SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
April 25, 2018
Adrift and Well-Rested
26° 2.1’ N, 73° 20.8’ W
Course & Speed
115° PSC, ~5.2 kts
Mains’l, mainstays’l, forestays’l
High humidity, little to no wind, cumulus/stratus clouds, ~1/2 of the sky covered. High of 30.5°C at 1600, low of 24°C at 0600, barometer 1012.0 mb at time of writing (2000)
444.5 nm at top of the hour 2000.
A few crabs seen, as well as a flying fish. Lots of Sargassum, mostly S. natans I and S. fluitans III.
Slept in today until 1100 after a successful evening watch (1900-0100) with my B watch friends. The winds failed us at some point in the night, leaving me rudely awakened by increasingly sultry conditions belowdeck. Finally settling into the lopsided 18-hour watch cycle and succumbing to exhaustion means I can pretty much sleep through anything at this point, and the more I settle in, the more I find I can enjoy the small stuff; the little spark of joy I get every time I go up on deck and see the McLane pump deployed or the Neuston tow picking up samples, or the satisfaction of seeing 15 minutes of tough sail handling pay off as we pick up speed and cut through the waves. Not being so seasick and sleep deprived that I'm incapacitated is also a recent trend in the right direction. Everyone else seems to be adjusting/getting over their initial bouts of sickness, too. Shipmates are joking around more, having fun, and taking advantage of every break in the action (though there aren't many now that project work is in full swing).
The water here is impossibly blue, and I can't wait for the first swim call so I can see what it looks like beneath the surface. Began watch at 1250, working in the lab, and filtered the surface water for chlorophyll-a. Fellow Microbes Group member Geoffrey Gill was also in there, filtering water for the Sargasso Sea microbiome that our project is based on. Saw a flying fish today, it popped out of the water maybe 30 feet off the starboard side and glided for 5 seconds, going faster than we were. Also saw four crabs, all pulled up in the Neuston tow (s/o Sam Galligan). The temperature rose steadily throughout the day, eventually becoming so stifling that Captain Jason set up an all-hands deck rinse after our intensive 1400 celestial navigation lesson. After the rinse, I got to sun-dry and leisure up on the roof of the doghouse (chart room) until I realized I was still on watch, and had to resume my duties. Before the lesson, Captain lost faith that the winds would return, and had our Chief Engineer Savio start up the main engine. Even though we move at the same speed, it's somehow so much more satisfying when we're traveling under sail power alone.
I've only hit my head like seventeen times so far, which I think is impressive given the amount of confined spaces on the ship and my penchant for hurting myself. Got a little sunburned after the all-hands rinse earlier today (sorry, mom), but not as bad as the one I got in Nassau (sorry again, I promise I put on sunscreen).
The day's light ended with a beautiful sunset; the sun's orange orb unobstructed by clouds as it passed below the horizon. Everyone said they saw the fabled green flash, but it just looked like a bunch of yellow and orange to me. Some of you may know that I'm not great with green though, so I trust my shipmates' eyes more than mine.
Had an epiphany yesterday that no matter how hard it gets out here (and it gets hard), focusing on the negatives will just leave me with a disappointing 5 weeks at sea. I've learned that I need to keep reminding myself that I only get to take this voyage once, and everything that happens, bad or good, is part of the full SEA experience. I can't wait to see what happens in the next five weeks, and can't believe it hasn't been a full week yet, it feels like a month already.
- Mason Martinez, B Watch, Macalester College
PS. sorry again mom for getting sunburned, say hi to dad and Lily and the pets for me. I'm having a great time out here, meeting so many cool people, and learning a lot about myself along the way. Also shoutouts to Monty's Blue Plate Diner and all my friends listening at home, love you all.