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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

May 20, 2017

Squall Watch

Sarah Speroff, C Watch, Kenyon College

Marine Biodiversity & Conservation

It's (almost) never too sporty for the CTD

39° 09.6’N x 071° 11.8’W

Description of location
One day’s journey away from Hudson Canyon (90nm from the NY coast)


5 knots

Winds NExE Force 5, Seas ExN 9ft

Freezing cold since crossing the Gulf Stream

Souls on Board

Growing up in Cleveland has made me someone who is not easily phased by sudden or unexpedcted changes in whether. I have often seen a week that included clear skies with warm sun, dark and looming thunderstorms, sudden hail, snow flurries, and a mild tornado. But today I experienced the true North Atlantic Ocean, full of sun, squalls, freezing winds, and waves that engulfed our floating home. C watch took the deck at 0645 in the morning, all decked out in our endless layers of warmth and full foulie garb, ready for the frigid morning ahead. We went to our respective places in lab and on deck, and begun counting down the minutes until we could go back to sleep. It was a quiet morning, and we all mused around trying to find things to do to keep us warm, our favorite being venturing to the engine room.

Eventually, as the sun began to rise we came out of hibernation and got ready for our twice daily gybe for science. We turned our stern into the wind, backed the mainstays'l, struck the forestays'l, and began getting hove to to deploy our CTD. Suddenly, from the horizion, came a swift and unsuspecting squall over our starboard beam. It brought thick rain, strong winds and confusion. As JWO, I ducked into the doghouse to check the RADAR, and sure enough we were surrounded by rain clouds in every direction. It was clear we were not going to dry off any time soon. But on the Cramer, science never stops. An old friend once told me that there is no such thing as bad weather, just innapropriate clothing. So with squalls blowing, we cinched our hoods tight around our heads and prepared to deploy the CTD.

Luckily, our deployment went off without a hitch until we put Neusty in the water. Unlike the CTD, beloved Neuston net loves to ride the waves, and today the swells were roughly 9 feet high. This caused the net to drown in the valleys and fly in the peaks of the waves. Occasionally, the combination of the high waves and stong winds caused Neusty to gracefully pirouette over the waves.

The most exciting part however, came near the end of our watch near 1245. C watch was setting the forestays'l and prepping to turn the deck over to A watch when the Cramer caught a big wave. We hit the water with so much force that the wave completely engulfed the starboard deck, travelled over top of the doghouse, and soaked the quarterdeck and everyone on it. Poor Megs didn't have her foulies on yet and was drenched in her cotton sweatshirt, while others were more lucky. Needless to say, the weather continued to improve and then get worse periodically throughout the day, but such is that of the North Atlatic Ocean.

- Sarah

PS: To the ones at home whom I love - I miss you dearly, and cannot wait to see you again soon

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, • Topics: c273  life at sea  science  study abroad • (1) Comments


#1. Posted by Leisa on May 22, 2017

So amazing!  Love you Sarah!



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