SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
May 21, 2017
Dolphins, Whales and 21st Birthdays
39° 31.5’N x 072° 23.9’W
Description of Location
Winds ESE Force 3, Seas ESE 3ft
Cold and clear
What a day on the Cramer! This is about to be a long blog, but I deemed it necessary to try to capture all that this day had to offer, so stick with me. Though every day has its excitement here on board, today was something to remember. We spent the day in the Hudson Canyon, the largest submarine canyon along the US Atlantic Coast, rivaling the depth and scale of the Grand Canyon, just southeast of New York City.
We got the opportunity to participate in the New York Seascape program, a program working to connect New York residents to their nearby ocean. As each watch worked to complete their special missions, we did special sampling net tows and deployments (including all the maneuvering between sampling locations and avoiding lobster traps), monitored vessel traffic and human use, and collected photos and videos to share with the Seascape program at the New York Aquarium, which we'll be visiting upon arrival. It was awesome to be part of yet another unique opportunity to contribute to cool programs through SEA Semester.
As if those special missions had not been enough, many student dreams came true today as we saw more megafauna than we have seen all trip by far. From a pod of 25-30 bottlenose dolphins that stayed with us for almost an hour, including one dolphin who jumped over 9 feet in the air, to the minke whale spotting during an all-hands muster on the quarterdeck, to the pilot whale swimming along with some common dolphins, and the brief mola-mola (sunfish) sighting, amazing does not even begin to describe it.
Today was definitely not a day for napping, as shouts of "Whale!" or "Dolphins!" had people practically running up ladders and dropping everything to get catch a glimpse of a fin poking out of the water, or the puff from a blowhole, or so much more. We are not the quietest of groups, but as we all watched dolphins leap into the air off the port bow, we were awestruck and not a peep could be heard. I wish I had a camera on at that time, for one of the most incredible things I've ever seen, but just that memory is definitely enough.
But that's not all! We also got to celebrate our dear friend Ridge's 21st birthday! It was definitely a unique birthday for him, but between the (very) numerous renditions of Happy Birthday, to Sabrina's amazing apple pie, and all the whales that came to wish him happy birthday, he described the day as "wicked awesome." Happy Birthday Ridge!
Though New York is only about 90 miles away, it is hard to imagine that we are so close to one of the world's largest cities. Sitting at the bow watching the sunset, it was very easy to feel like we were still out in the middle of the ocean, in our own little Cramer world. Soon this little world will no longer be our everyday reality, a sad thought, but it's hard to be sad when you have had this day we just had and this journey to look back on. I am incredibly full of gratitude for the 30 other people on this ship, especially my fellow students. I have watched some of best people I know rise to so many occasions, handle themselves with grace under pressure, and grow so much in such a short time. And even though I have only known them 2 months (but for what feels a lifetime) I am so proud and impressed at everything they can do and what they have accomplished. I feel very blessed to be part of such an intelligent, caring, loving, and funny group of people, so thank goodness we have a second shore component, because I am not ready for this adventure of a lifetime to end quite yet. Here's to making the most of the rest of our time on the Cramer and in Woods Hole.
P.S. To my brother Sebastien, I spent all day wishing you were here to see this with me. Let's go find some whales and dolphins together soon.
P.P.S. From Kata to her little brother Noah - happy birthday! I wish I was there to celebrate with you - can't believe that you're 21! See you in a few short weeks!