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SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

March 02, 2016

Off To See More Whales We Go!

Hailey Mischler, Ripon College

SEA Semester Caribbean

Julianna, our scientist on board that will help us locate some whales

Almost to Silver Bank

Pleasant, chances of rain have passed and winds are almost perfect for sailing

Souls on Board

Hello Everyone! Today we said goodbye to the beautiful Samana, Dominican Republic. We are now headed towards Cuba but will be making a stop at Silver Bank for about at night to observe some whales! Samana was great while it lasted.  During my port stop exploration time I walked around town and browsed local shops with my shipmates, and hiked to a small island park by crossing over an old bridge. Others visited nearby beaches, waterfalls, and some of us even had the rare opportunity to see the president of the Dominican Republic come in on a helicopter and be escorted out!  Apparently a nationwide cycling race that was ending in the town of Samana that same day. 

As we departed Samana, we all pitched in to help getting our rescue boat on deck,  making sure that everything was ready to go, while captain Chris made sure we cleared customs and had our passports stamped!  And by the early afternoon we were off and setting the sails. Our regular scheduled watches also went into effect at 0700 this morning and for me that meant sleeping basically all day. My watch had the morning and afternoon watch off, with the exception of 1430 class. Class today we discusses the next step in our processes as we sail along. Apprentice Phase, when the students step up to more responsibility during the watches: calling the set and strike of sails, maintaining hourly boat checks and logbook entries, preparing for deployments in the lab, etc..

Our next destination is Silver Bank where we expect to see a lot of whales! This is the location that humpback whales visit to mate and raise their calves; and the mating season is right now (Jan to March)!  Julianne, our resident whale expert, will use her hydrophone to listen to (and record) whales songs while we continue to record all of the exciting behavior above the surface.  We have observed plenty of surface activity including breaching, blows, and tail lobbing. We will continue to conduct our scientific research as we always do and some of our oceanographic data will be shared with whale researchers back in the Dominican Republic as they try to relate changes in whale distribution to climate change and the ongoing El Nino event responsible for drought conditions in the DR. 

Finally, I would like to say hi to all my family and friends back in Wisconsin and say that I had almost forgotten about snow until I spoke with my dad and learned that he and my dog were recently plowing snow!

Please give Elbe (my cat) a hug for me and don't forget to feed my fish please! I love you all and miss you, and I'll see you when I see you!

Now it is time for me to go back and get some more sleep because it is much needed on the ship!

- Hailey

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#1. Posted by Lisa & Dave Mischler on March 03, 2016

Be sure to take pictures of the whales and all the sights you see. Thanks for all the updates Hailey and crew. Riley and Elbe send you a hug.



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