SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
December 03, 2018
Science and Data, Data and Science!
12° 38’ N x W 61° 21’ W
Winds from the east at a Beaufort Force 2. Moderate cloud cover with a temperature of 26 ˚C.
I really can’t believe it is December. Growing up in Wisconsin I got used to snow and negative temperatures in the winter. Going to school in Oregon I got used to chilly rain. But I have never experienced a December with clear blue skies (minus the squalls) and temperatures fit for shorts and tank tops.
We had another full day of reef surveys here in the Tobago Cays. Delta team headed out first in the morning for our orientation swim and to collect samples for special projects, while Echo team looked after the boat. Linny and I collected sediment samples to share for our respective projects and we also collected water samples—suspended sediment for her and microplastics for me—with the very technical process of filling up different bottles and containers with seawater. I unfortunately find myself missing a lot of cool organisms because I’m focused on collecting data for my project. But others today saw barracuda, a shark and a sting ray! I’ve seen sea turtles from the boats, but none while in the water and I really hope I get that experience before these next 20 days (!!!) are over.
Back at the Cramer I speedily processed my microplastic samples by filtering the water and dyeing everything, besides the plastics, pink. I will count the number of pieces of plastic later, when I find (or make) the time. After a lunch of tasty sandwiches, we headed back to the site to conduct our actual reef survey. The wind had picked up though and swimming in the waves made it rough for data collection. It was hard to conduct good science out there, but I’m still amazed that this is real life and I snorkeled in the Caribbean today. We made it back safe and sound and only had a moment of relaxation before diving back into life on the Cramer. Boat and anchor checks needed to be completed, and all our data needed to be processed and transcribed. As Colleen said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, our data is not going to be recorded, it’s not.” (see Dr. Suess). Snorkel days are long, but then again any ‘day’ on the Cramer is a long day and feels more like three. At the same time survey days are amazing because in addition to being in the water, we have a sort of semblance of a typical day and get to see all of the C-283 family and crew.
Signing off BIG TIME
- Mahalia Dryak, Reed College
P.S. Happy early 30th anniversary Mum and Dad! Love to all the Dryak Fam, make sure to give the pups some kisses for me!