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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

May 16, 2015

All of the things all of the time!

Kata Rolf, A Watch, Carleton College

Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

Above: Steering at sunrise! Below: Barnacles and bottles.

Noon Position
38°27.0’N x 072°16.0W

Description of location
95nm away from Atlantic City. Jersey shore is on the horizon.

Ship Heading

Ship Speed

Taffrail Log

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
We are sailing slowly on a port tack under the mainstays’l and forestas’l. Winds are blowing approximately SWxW at a beaufort 4. Seas are also moving SWxW with swells reaching 5ft.

Marine Mammals Observed last 24hrs

Sargassum Observed last 24hrs

< 10. Possibly 0

Souls on Board

Hallo to my lovely family, frans, and foes back on land,

Kata here, bringing you the latest and greatest from the one and only S.S.V. Corwith Cramer! I have slept very little in the last 24 hours, so please forgive my silly grammatical errors and strange sentences. Since Lizzie didn’t really tell anyone about yesterday, I will try and cover two days in one sitting. This is a tale of JLO (not the one you’re thinking of), all of the lab work, and no sleep.

Yesterday my watch, A Watch, was due to take the deck at 0300 for dawn watch! We’ve been experiencing colder and colder weather as we move away from Bermuda and towards the Gulf Stream, so stepping out on deck is usually a nice way to wake you up if you weren’t already awake beforehand. We were in the middle of a high-pressure system, which brings about low winds, calm water, and slightly warmer temperatures than normal. This didn’t quite feel like the case as we stepped into 55°F weather, which is nothing compared to the -40°F windchill we’ve had at Carleton, but cold enough where you will definitely feel chilly after standing on deck for four hours.

Dawn watch is generally a really nice, calm period of time where you and your shipmates can talk, admire the stars, and wait for the sun to rise. Anthony, Amalia, Cassie and I had one of these mornings together while the other half of our watch worked on doing research in the lab and processing data from a net that we tow alongside the boat twice per day. Cassie, our third mate and my watch officer, and Ted, our chief engineer, shot stars with a sextant right before twilight to try and get a position for us while I was steering the boat. We saw one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen! The sky looked almost like a rainbow! After the sun rose, I got to go hang out in the galley and help with dishes.

Since we had dawn watch, after my watch was over we had a twelve-hour break until our next watch. I wanted to take a shower and go to sleep, but instead I ran around the lab trying to get project work done and prepare for a couple of short speeches we had to give later in the day about our policy and biology research projects.

During evening watch I was put in charge of the lab! Junior Lab Officer (JLO) means you are responsible for making sure that everything in the lab gets done. The staff scientist is there to make sure you’re doing everything correctly and that the lab doesn’t burn down. I am happy to say that the lab is still standing and I am too. During this watch, the water was so calm that almost the entire ship decided to sit on deck and see if they could spot the green flash at sunset. I am sad to say that this did not happen. Maybe next time! My watch ended successfully – no missed hourlies (huzzah!) despite the craziness that was going on in lab with everyone’s different projects. It’s challenging being in charge of everything that is going on, but I was excited to step into the shoes of our assistant scientists for the evening.

Today was mostly a blur of project work and more project work with being on watch and sleep sprinkled between, although as I said earlier sleep really didn’t happen all that much. Hannah was the first Junior Watch Officer (JWO) during our morning watch, and she did splendidly! I was running around helping pass sails, plot our position, and doing boat checks. Brittany, our third assistant scientist, caught a plastic bottle with a barnacle attached to it in our net town this morning! It almost looks like an eye with very long eyelashes. Field Day, a two hour chunk of time dedicated to scrubbing the entire ship down, came shortly after watch, and then I worked on my project and prepping for my own JWO experience, which is happening tomorrow! Since then I’ve been doing project work for my science project, which is looking at eel diversity and distribution in the Sargasso Sea. We’re almost done with our ship component of the research, which is both scary and exciting! This leads me to where I am right now, which is sitting at the gimbled table in the main saloon in the red light trying to calculate how long I could sleep before watch if I went to bed right now.

Speaking of, I have watch in about two hours now, but thank you for reading!
Fair winds to everyone back home,

P.S. Ivan I miss you! I made my turk’s head with Shlee’s help and it looks great! I’ll be thinking of you when I’m JWO tomorrow – send me good vibes! Jan, Betsy, and Sarah, I hope that you’re all doing well back at Carleton! I’m having the time of my life right now, thanks for supporting me on my path here. Dad, Noah, Conrad, I’m learning new card games that we are going to play on our next game night. Frans at Carleton, I miss you all lots and I cannot wait to see you at graduation/on Skype as soon as I am able. You
better be killing it this term. Nana, tell Grandpa that I love being out on the water. I miss you both!

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, • Topics: c259 • (3) Comments


#1. Posted by Carol Linnea Salmon on May 18, 2015

Sounds like you are having a great adventure, Kata! I am happy for you.

#2. Posted by Thomas Hiura on May 18, 2015

Have a blast, Kata. I’m so thrilled for you and I can’t wait to chat about the wonders of the Cramer with ya. smile

#3. Posted by Patsy Ward on May 20, 2015

Tons of love to you, our sailor Kata, from Nana, Grandpa, and Christa.  We’re in Bethlehem!



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