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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

November 15, 2014

The First Night, Field Trips & More

Missy Velez, C-Watch

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

My first time snorkeling!

28° 08’ 16.80” N x 15° 25’ 16.80” W

Alongside the dock in Puerto de la Luz, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Hola, from Las Palmas!  I have the distinct honor of writing the first student blog for this Atlantic Crossing.  To get all our readers up to date, here’s what’s going on.  We arrived in Las Palmas yesterday at 1500, made our way through the city, and all met onboard our home (for the next almost 6 weeks) - the SSV Corwith Cramer.  We were organized into three Watch groups that include a mix of us students, an SEA scientist and mate, one of our scientific Voyagers, one maritime Voyager, and one sailing intern. We also met the engineers, and our ship’s steward.  We then had a thorough orientation to the ship herself.  We learned the basics of a boat check which is conducted every hour to ensure the safety of the ship and her crew, we practiced deploying some amazing science equipment, learned about the ins and outs of the galley and some important communication and navigation systems onboard.  Then we settled into our bunks at 2200 and made them our personal homes! 

After a busy day I was happy to make my bunk my own, organize my things, and to simply appreciate finally, finally being onboard the Cramer after the long wait.  I was awoken at 0620 this morning to start our adventures.  We visited several archeological sites of the Guanches, the long-gone indigenous population of the Canary Islands.  Through the excellent audio tours provided by CanEducAm, a local group dedicated to education about and interpretation of Gran Canaria’s historical sites, I was amazed to learn that the Guanches had hand-carved their caves out of the top of rugged, volcanic, cactus-covered mountains.  After this historical exploration we went to Playa de Arinaga which is adjacent to El Cabron Marine Reserve.

Under the expert guidance of the crew from Davy Jones Dive Shop we were able to snorkel with a diverse array of fish species including:  white sea bream and blue-fin damselfish that have repopulated the region due to the success of the nearby marine reserve (an effect called spill-over).  I and my fellow sailors were very lucky to spend much of the afternoon outfitted in wetsuits, fins, snorkels, and masks exploring the rocky reefs of Gran Canaria.  It was so amazing to see fish swimming just inches away in their natural habitat rather than an aquarium.  Having never snorkeled before, it opened my eyes to the world that occupies 70% of our planet - the ocean!  I can only imagine what other inspiring experiences await me on this journey.

On behalf of class C256, we can’t wait to share these adventures with all of you. 


P.S.  Hi Mom, Dad, Erin and Mac!

Previous entry: What are we doing?    Next entry: A Lota Gelata


#1. Posted by roseann velez on November 17, 2014

Dear Missy and Crew,

How delightfully pleased were we to see Missy smiling while snorkeling and to read of your incredible adventure thus far.  The class of C256 no doubt will make the world a better place with their knowledge and experience garnered aboard the Crowith Cramer.  We eagerly await each days blog and have no doubt that your research will benefit those who live in and around the ocean.

The Velez Posse

#2. Posted by Jay Smallman on November 18, 2014

Missy et al
So proud of you. Enjoy your adventure and we cannot wait to hear about everything you learn on the way.
Safe travels.
Uncle Jay

#3. Posted by Bobby and Kerry Smallman on November 27, 2014

Hi Missy!! Bobby and Kerry here on Thanksgiving! We miss you but hope you are having soo much fun on your adventure! Can’t wait to see you next month!!

Bobby and Kerry

#4. Posted by Bobby and Kerry Smallman on November 27, 2014

happy thanksgiving from grammy miss you and love you missy



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