SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
November 14, 2014
C256 Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean Begins
28° 08’ 16.80” N x 15° 25’ 16.80” W
Alongside the dock in Puerto de la Luz, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
The students have all safely arrived to the ship, and ship safety and orientation is underway! With the Corwith Cramer tied securely to a dock in the heart of Puerto de Luz, the opportunities for observations related to Maritime Studies themes are endless. Facilities for the unloading and loading of container ships are busy with their work only a few hundred yards away while international, large-scale fishing boats are moored just north of us in one of the inner harbors of this extensive, highly trafficked port. In fact, in preparation for the arrival of no fewer than 8 cruise ships over the course of the weekend, we have already cleared everybody for departure through the port immigration services (with the help of the local ship’s agent) so that we can avoid the long lines that will be created by this amount of traffic.
Many of our students have been on Gran Canaria for a few days now, and they are already excitedly sharing accounts of their explorations with the ship’s professional crew and our contributing voyagers. For instance, while we are currently in the heart of a very built-up and marine-oriented commercial nexus for both Gran Canaria and the surrounding islands, just a few short blocks away, many of us have visited the beachfront area of Playa de las Canteras. Here, a mix of restaurants and retail establishments catering to the island’s visitors is starkly contrasted by the beach lined with small, traditional fishing vessels that it overlooks. I, for one, eagerly anticipate the discussions, both formally in class and informally over meals and in off-watch hours, of the students’ general impressions and thoughtful analyses of all of the different facets of this Atlantic island.
Looking ahead, we have a day of exploration planned with a faculty-organized tour of historic sites in Cuatro Puertas and San Francisco, both near the town of Telde, followed by a reef survey in the El Cabron Marine Reserve. I am confident that many exciting details from this outing will be presented in a subsequent blog entry.