SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
December 05, 2017
Wandering the Cays
12°28.361’ N x 061°21.820’ W
This past week has been an exciting one aboard the Corwith Cramer! We anchored off of Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines on a beautiful day. The sky was clear and the seas calmer compared to the rough conditions we experienced a few days before. We soon got to come on shore and went about the town peeking into stores and wandering the island. A few of us hiked Fort Hill and were rewarded with spectacular views of the bay and some small islands around Union Island’s southern end.
South of Union Island is where we continued, and for some of us, began collecting data for our research projects. The islands we sampled were Petit Tabac, Petit Rameau, Petit Bateau, Baradal, and Jamesby. It was exciting to see Petit Tabac as the Pirates of the Caribbean scene where Jack Sparrow and Elizabeth Swan are marooned was filmed there!
Around these islands, we spent two days conducting two daily snorkel trips, sorting the trips’ data, and keeping up with our duties on the ship, such as, daily cleaning, assisting in the galley (kitchen), and standing anchor watches. The surveys we carried out in the Cays showed up any issues with our research methods that we then tweaked.
As we conducted our surveys, focusing on coral sprats and disease, marine debris, fish and sea urchin species, we gained an overview of some of the Cays’ reefs. Growing up, I’ve always been told that the Tobago Cays was one of the best places to visit for pristine coral reefs. That’s possibly the case in some areas, but, generally my impression of the areas we visited were less than pristine and in some cases disappointing. Hopefully, looking into the Tobago Cays’ history and our research projects will provide some insight into why this is so.
However, some of us were fortunate to see sea turtles, sting rays, many colourful reef fish and even a shark!
Now, we’re anchored and will make our way to Canouan in the morning. So, tonight will be the last of anchor watch until our next port stop. Anchor watches are usually done by one or two persons and lasts for one hour compared to the underway watches which last six hours. I found anchor watches to be easier and a time of reflection. If you’re alone on watch with just navigational instruments, the sea, and the stars for company, you find yourself going over the day or plans for the next day, sometimes just wandering in your thoughts. Sometimes it’s the ‘down’ time you need on an ever busy ship.
But, our sailing continues on to the exciting lands and seas ahead.
P.S. Heyya Families!