SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
February 27, 2015
Flying juice for breakfast and calm seas for dinner!
18°04.690’N x 063°05.615’ W
Anchored at Marigot Bay of St. Martin
Relatively calm and I expect us to have a good night’s sleep
The day did not start out as peaceful. I’d say it was a bit more exciting. My day started with breakfast, and I am telling you, a whole pitcher of juice literally flew off our table. Our ship has been rocking and rolling
for a few days now, but today the seas were particularly rough. We encountered some ten- to twelve-foot waves during our watch, and squalls just kept coming right at us!
Since I was on deck watch, I wrote down deck log entries, did the hourly boat check, helped handle the sails, and manned the helm, all of which I—and probably the rest of B watch as well—did the best I can while hanging on!
To heave-to for SCIENCE, we also did a double gybe which I find really cool. While the lab folks were deploying the Secchi Disk, the CTD, and the Dip Net the deck watch, Molly (who was on engine duty), and Annie (who was on dish duty) had the chance to witness another historical moment: Captain Sean Bercaw sent out another message in a bottle! Well, actually he let Molly do it. Lucky girl!
And of course, we played the Secchi Disk game! The Secchi disk basically is used to measure visibility in the ocean with respect to depth. We watch as the bright blue disk is lowered, and we bet on the depth at which we think it would no longer be visible. No one got it right this time! Too bad.
After all these deployments were done, and no more wires hung close to the ship, I had the chance to “deploy” the taffrail. It actually was more of throwing it as hard and as far as I can, though!
At around noon, the entire B watch waited for that moment when the sun was at its peak, directly above us, and we “shot” it with our sextant. Based on GPS, our noon position was at 18°45.9’N x 63°17.2’W. We all got a latitude not more than 5nm off the GPS reading, and that’s fairly accurate! And yes, we still did this with eight- to ten- foot waves rocking and rolling Cramer.
At the end of our watch (1300) the winds were blowing ExS (East by South) at Beaufort Force 6; the waves were coming from the same direction with an average wave height of 8 feet. The sky had 2/8 cloud coverage, mostly cumulus. Though the weather seemed to be getting better at this point, the forecast said that the swells could get bigger and the winds stronger. We motor-sailed the rest of the day at 1300 rpm under a single-reef main, mainstays’l, forestays’l, and jib, aiming to anchor at St. Martin before dark.
But before then, we saw a double rainbow, a turtle, some flying fish, a lot of BEAUTIFUL windrows of Sargassum, and plenty of seabirds, mostly brown boobies and frigates. And dolphins!
And at around sunset, all hands worked to strike the sails, and we anchored safely at Marigot bay, St. Martin. The winds and seas have been calm so far. From rocking and rolling to peacefully sleeping!
And before I sleep, I want to say I am so glad I’m here (no longer sea-sick and with cool new battle-scars!) And shout out to my friend Dana B: I owe you pasalubong!! And tell me all your kwento when I get back!