SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
October 16, 2015
Andalusian Paradise: Cadiz
36°33.0’N x 06°31.8’W
Gulf of Cadiz
Clear and Calm with No Wind
It’s been thirteen days since we left from Barcelona on our voyage in the Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic along the Spanish coast. Along the way we encountered pods of dolphins, pilot whales, hammerhead sharks and stunning sights ranging from Spanish and Moroccan peaks to the gorgeous views of the area surrounding the Strait of Gibraltar. The experience to date is incredibly rewarding but very laborsome, as expected.
We’ve began Phase II on the ship signifying that we have been given more responsibilities on the boat during our watches. I’ve been a shadow for the deck and the lab meaning I’ve had the opportunity to manage my watch
more on deck duties, duties such as bow lookout, helmsperson, and sail handling responsibilities to name a few. I also now have a better sense of what the watch officers’ main responsibilities are. My lab experience mirrored that of the deck experience – more autonomy in performing lab duties such as Neuston net processing, micro-organism counting, pH, alkalinity, chlorophil a, and microplastic processing. As we look ahead to gaining more responsibilities and autonomy on the Cramer, we look to our next port stop: Cadiz. We arrive tomorrow at 0900; I am ecstatic to visit such a phenomenal place.
Cadiz’s history is grand, as it is considered to be the oldest actively settled area on the European continent. The Phoenicians, in their large coastal Mediterranean empire, established the city somewhere between 1100 and 800 B.C. The Romans, Franks, and the Moors have had their share in shaping Cadiz before the Spanish settled in the area after conquering it from the Moors. As the Spanish ramped up their expansion into the new world in the 16th century, Cadiz became an increasingly important port for transport of the raw resources and mineral wealth extracted in the New World. There is also a significant history of warfare in Cadiz. Sir Francis Drake raided the harbor in 1586, sinking Spanish boats and, along with them, tons of supplies. The battle is generally known as The Singeing of the Spanish King’s Beard – it is thought to have offset the Spanish Armada and to have been one of primary reasons the Spanish Armada failed. Cadiz was also sacked in 1596 years later by an Anglo-Dutch force, contributing to Spain’s eventual bankruptcy as much of the mineral wealth extracted by colonial settlements was now lost during that sacking.
We’ll be posting about our first day in Cadiz tomorrow – stay tuned!