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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

May 09, 2016

When the swells aren’t so swell

Taylor Hallowell, C-Watch, Amherst College

Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

Nudibranchs caught in the noon neuston net tow

34° 45.7’ N x 065° 08.7’ W

Description of location
120 nm north of Bermuda

3.0 kts

W force 3 wind

Souls on Board

09 May 16, 10:27- Someone told me I look tan. (This is not common occurrence, as I am typically either extremely pale or have a peeling sun burn.)

The westerly winds we have begun to encounter have continued to make for some of our best sailing. For a few hours this morning we were traveling at about 7 knots, a relatively high speed for us thus far. The large swells from yesterday have carried over into today, with some as high as 12 feet. People have generally been feeling better and less sea sick today, but it remains difficult to keep balanced. However, the struggle to remain standing does not apply to Captain Jason, who somehow always appears to be effortlessly standing perfectly straight. I personally am still trying to figure out how he does it, but some theories include:

“He gimbals himself” –Bex
“He has suction cups on his feet.” –Ethan
“He just has really really heavy feet.” –Matt
“He is Neptune.” –Walter
“He telepathically communicates with the Cramer.” -Isa

Cap assures us that he simply leans the opposite way that the boat is leaning, but I refuse to believe it is this easy. We’re on to you, Cap’n.

The 12 foot swells proved to be especially troublesome during lab this afternoon. The 1st Scientist, Matt Hirsch, looked out the porthole and yelled, “Hold on!” every time he saw a big one coming. At his warnings, we all immediately attempted to hold down everything we were working with, as the non-skid pads on the work bench became essentially useless. While most of us were taking hold of or samples (spiny lobster larvae for me), reagents, pipettes, and other tools, we heard a “121, 122, 123” from Marina in the corner at the microscope, desperately trying not to lose focus as she counted the myomeres on an eel. 

This afternoon’s class was with Mark Long, our Marine Policy professor who joined us in Bermuda and will be with us on this second leg of sailing. We discussed all of the places we visited and people we talked to in Bermuda, as well as the lessons we could learn from them. We can all agree that communication and stakeholder involvement are of the utmost importance. In an ideal world, all impacted parties would be involved in the creation of management and implementation plans. We will surely keep this in mind during the second shore component when it comes time for us to suggest conservation policy plans for the Sargasso Sea.    

I want to give a special shout out to Grannie Annie (arguably the blog’s number one fan) and the rest of my family and friends. Lots of love to you all.

- Taylor

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#1. Posted by Chip Freund on May 10, 2016

The photo of the Nudibranchs is way cool.  they look like a creature right out of Avitar!  Thanks for letting us sail along and learn with you.

#2. Posted by Charlie DuMond on May 10, 2016

I will say, from some of my past ocean experiences that this is highly unusual, a sober captain.
Is it possible that Captain Jason is suspended by
lines from a mast or beyond?
Or perhaps this phenomenon will support physics String Theory.
What ever the explanation you should in the very least test the hypothesis, of Bex, Ethan, Matt, Walter, and, Isa.
thanks Taylor for your up date.

Charlie DuMond




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