SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
June 16, 2014
C253 Web Blog - 16 June 2014
44° 47.5’ N x 33° 32.4’ W
068 degrees true
18° C with light winds and a few clouds
It’s hard to believe we are more than halfway through our journey! Looking at the boat’s position on the chart in the center of the world’s second biggest ocean hasn’t quite set in, and I suspect it won’t until I set foot in on another continent. We are already leaving the West Atlantic Basin and about to enter into the Mid-Atlantic Ridge Zone within the next day or two! Life on board continues to be a cycle of new experiences- some watches are tiring, but then just when we start to feel a little down, we get an extraordinary sunset or a pod of dolphins appears beside the boat to lift the mood back up. There is always something new to be learned, and in these first two weeks we have all made a lot of progress on our journeys to master the arts of sailing and ocean research.
This morning, after a few hours short hours of slumber, those of us not on watch were awakened abruptly by another emergency drill, this time for the MOB (man over board) response. Even though we knew it was drill right away, it was definitely a rough wake-up call. After retrieving ‘Oscar’ (a white float that was tossed over) it shaped up to be a beautiful day. B watch finally got some good weather to do some celestial navigation and deck-washing, which consisted of a huge saltwater fire hose and some scrubbing down the deck (an activity that was actually pretty fun). At this point we are attempting to do most of our navigation using the sun and the stars, and not resorting to the GPS except to double check if we need to. It’s a really interesting skill to develop, although I have found that I am lacking in my simple math skills and should probably re-take second grade.
Tomorrow and Wednesday are ‘Chem Days’, which means that all of the phosphate, nitrate, and chlorophyll samples that the lab has been pulling out of hydrocasts and surface stations that have been sitting in bottles in the freezer all trip will be analyzed, providing some of our research groups with project data. So, for those on watch in the next two days there will be a whole lot of spectrophotometry, and a little bit of hoping for some good r squared values for our standards- a seemingly simple task, but everything is more difficult when the boat is rocking and samples are rolling around!
PS: Hello to my family (Mom, Dad, Jimmy, Optimus, Marble, and Tiger) love and miss you, I’m having the experience of a lifetime (and staying warm, I promise).
To my ‘sisters’ Adrienne, Angela and Rachel- I miss you guys but I hope you are all having fun on your various summer adventures.