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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

October 17, 2018

And We’re Off!

Nino Tomas, C-Watch, Middlebury College


At the helm under clear skies! We have all gotten the chance to learn how to steer the ship and stay on course using the compass.

Noon Position
39 o 50’N x 70 o 1.4’W

160 nautical miles off of Cape Cod, about 100 nautical miles North of the Gulf Stream

170 o

7 Knots

Out of the West at a Beaufort force 5 (17-21 knots)

Surface Temperature/Salinity
20.4 o C/34.95 psu

Souls on board

Hi everyone!  Today marks our first full day on the open ocean!  After leaving the anchorage at the mouth of the Sakonnet River yesterday, we sailed a course of 170 degrees through the night on favorable western winds, making quick progress along our cruise track.

While at sea, we are split up into three watches, each with 4-5 students, 1-2 sailing interns, a mate, and an assistant scientist.  We have been standing watch on a six hour cycle, with six hours on, then 12 hours off to sleep, eat, and relax.  When on watch, your group is responsible for doing hourly boat safety checks, cleaning, keeping lookout, steering, and managing the sails.

Over the past day, we have had several exciting moments. While on dawn watch last night, we had our first marine mammal sighting - a group of six dolphins off of our bow.  They followed us along for a couple hours, barely visible in the dark, but leaving bright bioluminescent streams of bubbles behind them.  We have also begun seeing our first bits of Sargassum!  One clump which was caught in the neuston net (a large surface net which is dragged alongside the ship) hosted some crabs and shrimp.

On the science deck, we have completed several carousel deployments.  This instrument measures salinity, temperature, chlorophyll, and dissolved oxygen through the water column.  It also holds bottles which are programmed to close at different depths, giving us water samples for measuring pH, alkalinity, microplastics, and other properties.  Over the coming days, we will continue to deploy the carousel and neuston net to collect data for our research projects.

The weather has been consistently chilly, although it was considerably warmer today than it has been.  In general, it hasn't bothered us and we have stayed plenty warm by wearing lots of layers and staying busy while on watch.  Currently, we are riding out some sporty weather, waiting for the front to pass before crossing the Gulf Stream and entering the much warmer weather promised beyond.

I hope everything is well on land!

To friends and family in NH:  Hi!  Lia, do well in school.

To Sophie (Johnson):  This is great and I can't wait to tell you sea stories and make you jealous!

- Nino Tomas, C-Watch, Middlebury College

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: c282  study abroad  gap year  gap year ocean  life at sea • (3) Comments
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#1. Posted by Sophie Johnson on October 23, 2018

So cool about the bioluminescent trail left by the dolphins! I can’t wait to hear about every single thing (you better be keeping a journal!) and especially more about the marine life. Also- don’t worry- I’m taking care of your succulent as if it were one of my own. Stay safe out there… your hair will probably keep you warm. -Sophie

#2. Posted by Matthew Hicks on October 24, 2018

Hey Nino. Great blog detailing your adventures. It is amazing how much you are learning. Come to SRS and present to the students when you return. Then, we ski!

#3. Posted by Tommy and Michael on October 24, 2018

Fair winds and following seas from mountain road!
Tommy will be following along and excited to hear about what you learn smile



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