SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
November 17, 2018
At anchor in Carriacou, 12 o 29.0’N x 61 o 27.7’W
12 nm NW of Canouan
flow through is off (we aren’t in the Grenadian EEZ)
It feels so good to be back underway after a busy port call. Students have put their skills to the test and successfully completed the first: Operation Papa Oscar (pump out) in a series of three missions to be achieve before we dock in St. Georges tomorrow morning. The remaining two missions are to complete a neuston tow during evening and dawn watch at designated locations.
This spring I sailed on a boat where at the end of every overnight program, all the ship's company gathered in a big circle on the quarterdeck and everyone shared something that they were going to take away from the experience they just had. I always appreciated this moment to stop and reflect and especially enjoyed hearing what my fellow shipmates and participants had to say.
In honor of this tradition (and in anticipation of this blog post) I have been going around asking students and crew what they were going to take away from this experience, the one and only C282.
Here are some of the responses I got (disclaimer: they are not reported quite word-for-word)
From C-Watch's trusty sailing intern, Sophie (aka Soupy aka SJpi): "New experiences can be scary but in the end they are fun and you can learn a lot. Also, positive reinforcement goes a long way."
I managed to get some quality reflection time with some students who were brushing their hair on the leeward side of the quarterdeck. "I am going to take away how to cook and do dishes for a lot of people and all the sea stories I now have to share with my sea-going and ocean cruising uncle" reflected one student. The other talked about the leadership skills they gained during this program and accountability they felt when "people relied on me for things and I had to step up when something needed to get done."
"This experience made me realize that science isn't scary and has made me appreciate science and the ocean a lot more. I wish I had done it right out of high school because I would have been more aware of all the different opportunities or paths I could take" said a student when I swung through the lab. Another student working in lab also had a science related (perhaps influenced by the setting) answer and mentioned that something that they had been thinking about recently was "how great the science world is: there is still so much we don't know. For example, when I was on bow watch earlier today I was wondering if flying fish ever fly for fun. No one probably knows if they do or not."
Even those of us who have been around for a while still have takeaways. "I got to sail in the Gulf Stream for the first time after thinking about it and studying it for 10 years! I was quite excited," said Chief Scientist Ben, who has been sailing with SEA for three years.
This list of things to learn in lab is extensive and I am wrapping up my first semester trip as an assistant scientist with innumerable takeaways. I have done a lot of learning alongside my more experienced fellow assistant scientists Steve and Erin, and I can't thank them enough for their time and patience. With unpredictable conditions and unexpected equipment failures I learned that no matter how long you have sailed here, there is always more to learn. This sentiment is humbling and I hope to embrace it and continue to create a "learning community" in which I learn alongside and from the students while giving them every opportunity to gain as much ownership of this experience as possible.
"Overall gratitude for the little things. How everyone stopped and admired and was excited to see simple things like a bird or a rainbow." Gia, a C-Watch student, and I talked about how in the open ocean even the little things are awe inspiring.
Not more than a half an hour later, most of the ships company was gathered at the stern of the boat, admiring a pair of pilot whales breeching while boobies fished around us and the mountainous cumulus clouds started to turn pink with the setting sun.
While my home state of California is still reeling from a devastating fire I am once again reminded of how grateful I am to be here on this floating home.
- Anna Wietelmann, 3rd Assistant Scientist
Timo made bulgogi for dinner tonight! He was really excited to share Korean BBQ with everyone on board in honor of his best friend Sheero and all the good times J