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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

June 25, 2016

Reaching the Irish Shelf

Matt Hirsch, First Assistant Scientist

Transatlantic Crossing

Tiny star knot door handle

51°02.4’N x 014°53.1’W

Souls on Board

This is Saturday’s blog, but I’m writing it on Dawn Watch on Sunday morning. Time can be a tricky thing at sea! We’ve been seeing signs indicating our approach to land lately, and in the lab this morning I’ve noticed that we’ve reached a new ‘landmark‘: sailing onto the Irish Shelf! Our CHIRP bottom profiler has been tracking the seafloor thoughout our transatlantic voyage, and we’ve gone from 4,000m to 1,000m over the past 5 hours! We’ve also started seeing more boats on the AIS, specifically a group of fishing vessels not too far away from us clustered on Porcupine Bank. I put a fresh lure on the fishing line and set it with care when day broke today in hopes of catching something for dinner. We also saw some more pilot whales trying to keep up with us as we’re making 8 knots under the mainsail, main staysail, forestaysail and topsail.

Yesterday was the third field day of this trip, and even though the ship was in need of it’s weekly deep cleaning, it was much better than the first one! The students know how to clean the ship and since we’ve been taking good care of her she’s not nearly as dirty as when we left Woods Hole...soon enough we’ll be in port again where dirt and sand will find it’s way back on board.  Another aspect of life that has changed as the crew (students and staff) have gotten more skilled is that we have a bit more time to fine tune the ship with bosunry projects and more in depth
maintenance. The image that I took for this blog is of a door handle for the book case in the lab that I made a couple days ago. It is a 5 stranded star knot, and the smallest one I’ve ever made! I was on board a year ago when new cabinet doors were installed and the holes for the knobs had been empty this entire time.

The students have been doing an excellent job of taking ownership of the vessel, especially in Phase 3, and since we’ve been making great miles thoughout the trip the students will get challenged to complete a mission with very little help from the professional crew. There will be a poster session today and that will be the culmination of schoolwork, so for the rest of the trip we will all get to enjoy ourselves on this beautiful tall ship. Also, we’re starting to take bets on when we’ll spot land!

Finally, I have to add greetings to friends and family who are reading the blog at home. Hi Mom and Dad and any Aunts and Uncles that might be reading the blog! Hi Bella and Greyson and my newest nephew, Kai, who just turned 1 year old this month. Also, hi Sarah!

- Matt

PS: Wishing my dad a happy birthday from sea! Love, Lydia

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Transatlantic Crossing, • Topics: c267  megafauna  sailing  science • (1) Comments


#1. Posted by Sarah nickford on June 27, 2016

Hello from Nonnie & Papa, we read your blog today it has been so exciting to follow your trip to Ireland. 
Sarah your the best,  love you!



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