SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
August 03, 2015
36° 16.3’ N x 8° 28.1’ W
Description of location
South of Cape St. Vincent
Weather / Wind / Sail Plan (from 1300 Watch Change)
Cloudy with a chance of cloud burn and later a clear starry night
Marine Mammals Observed last 24hrs (estimate of totals)
One Fin Whale
I had a nice early start to my day this morning. Wake ups were promptly at 2:30am and after a few minutes of gathering my things and hauling on some clothes, I scrambled up on deck along with the rest of B watch. The deck was dimly lit by the shimmering moonlight and I zoned out staring at the waves, drinking a cup of hot cocoa while we were mustering. I came to realize it was my turn to be point person on our watch. This basically means I am in charge of being sure all of the hourly logs and duties are taken care of. A watches point person, Shlomit, articulates the sails we have up, course ordered, and that there was no traffic of concern and that’s when I get to repeat it all and take the deck. I get my people into place and put myself on the helm so that I can easily keep track of everything and everyone on deck.
We had an hour of smooth sailing with a waning wind so our mate, Sara Martin, woke the Captain who told us to set the jib topsail to combat the lighter wind. This seems to be B watches favorite sail, seeing as I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve raised and struck it. Once we were done sail handling, I started working on the dawn watch question. This is a question left in the lab for whoever has dawn watch. Ours happened to be about the green flash that can be seen at sunrise and sunset. Madison and I researched (in physical books, no google machines on board of course) for the presentation and made up a colorful white board. Once this task was completed, we had to begin wake ups for the next watch and helping with setting up for breakfast.
At turnover, the scientist from the oncoming watch, Ed, mentions that we would be lowering a secchi disk around 12 noon and I ask for a wake up so I can watch it. We were relieved around 6:50, had some breakfast, then it’s our job to do DC (dawn cleanup). We sweep and sponge the soles(floors), scrubs the heads and showers, clean the doghouse and the lab, and of course, my favorite job, restock the heads with toilet paper, soap and empty all of the little trash cans around the boat. After a quick cleaning we all concur, it’s time for a bit more sleep.
I got woken up again around 11:45 and I wandered up to deck still exhausted and everyone is betting on how deep the disk will be before we lose sight of it. I guessed 22 meters and watched eagerly as they lowered it. We first lost sight of it at 23 meters but when pulling it back up no one saw it until 21 meters, and of course, we have to use the average. I got some high fives and a little spurt of energy from my lucky guess and then headed down below to help get lunch ready. (Shout out to Linda, Elizabeth, Vuarnelle, Sophie and Dan at URI’s Watershed Watch program, I may not be helping out with all of our water quality stuff there but don’t worry I didn’t get away from the secchi disks, chlorophyll or salinity)
After lunch we mustered for daily presentations on navigation, weather, and our dawn watch question. Then we had class on the legendary Battle at Cape Trafalgar and the last run through of safety drills for the trip followed soon after. We had a fire on the foredeck, cheese overboard and a quick abandon ship muster (all drills parents, not to worry). We also had fun with m&m’s and the euphotic zone of the ocean. Basically, different colors can be seen deeper than others as they sink (blue is supposed to be seen the longest). Each watch had their own bowl of m&m’s that we deployed and timed how long we could see them. Any extra or faulty equipment had to be disposed of (into our stomachs).
Once class time was over a number of students and I went below to do crafts. We have cut up pieces of the old jib topsail that can be used for various projects. I made a small wallet but some of my shipmates made lap top cases, purses, and diddy bags. Our crafting had to come to a halt when A watch came to set up for dinner in the main salon but our stomachs were accepting of
B watch took the deck again after dinner and we were told that we were officially heading straight for Cadiz! We had a busy watch with galley/dinner clean up, processing the neuston tow, and counting 100 microorganisms in a random sample from the neuston tow. There was a lot but we did it all and handed the deck over to C watch under some beautiful stars.