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SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

April 22, 2021

You Can Never Wear Enough Coral-Safe Sunscreen

Elisabeth Landgren, B-watch, Macalester College


Above: Coral spotted during our snorkeling journey. Below: JC, Katey, Will, Allison, Jeff (left to right) showing off their Earth Day white board. Featuring whales, recycling, and Sargassum. Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park peeking out behind some bushes at the beach we launched our snorkeling expedition from.

Noon Position
24°45.1’ N, 82°38.9’W

Ship Heading
120 °

Ship Speed
4 kts

Taffrail Log
516.0 nm

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
Light wind mostly NE throughout the day. Warm, around 25 °C and lots of sun.

Description of location
We started the day in Dry Tortugas National Park and got underway again midday heading back into the gulf of Mexico before we round Florida into the Atlantic in the next few days.

Souls on board

Boy has it been a great Earth day! Yesterday my watch got to snorkel for all of five minutes before we had to get out of the water due to thunderstorms. I have never been snorkeling before, so I was really hoping that we would get another opportunity. This morning I got onto the small rescue boat at 0800 and by 0930 had gotten to see more corals, and fish than I have ever seen before. It took some getting used to being able to breathe with my mouth under water and I definitely still feel a little awkward clearing the snorkel, but I am so amazed by all the different species and colors we got to see and being in the water was so relaxing. Here you can see one of my favorite corals that we saw as well as a view of the beach and fort Jefferson where we launched our snorkeling from.

Iwish I was better at identifying corals so I could tell you all the name of it, but I have been busy all day and you all have access to google out there so I don’t feel too bad. After snorkeling, I spent a significant portion of time quizzing myself and some shipmates on the location and function of all the lines on the boat. We will be having a relay style competition between the different watches tomorrow, so everyone is trying to brush up before then. Around noon we took up the anchor and started to head out of Dry Tortugas. During our afternoon class session each watch was put in charge of setting specific sails, and then we presented our earth day board and with all our reasons to love the earth. Here you can see the crew members displaying their board on the quarter deck during class.

Some of the reasons we love the earth include: the soil that provides us food, the ocean that provides water, and marshmallows because no other planet has them.. at least not that we know of. After meeting with our mentors to make revisions to our project methods, I got to take the helm for two jybes so that we could set the fisherman for the first time this trip! In English that basically means I got to steer when we put up a new sail. After spending the whole day enjoying the weather, I have gotten a little sunburnt and am feeling very sleepy. Despite that every day has been the best day so far and I am confident it will just keep getting better.

Good night! Sleep tight! Dream about snorkeling in the Dry Tortugas.

To my family: Look up some cool corals for me, you won’t regret it. I miss you <3

- Elisabeth Landgren, B-watch, Macalester College

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, • Topics: c297  mbc  coral reefs  snorkeling • (2) Comments
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#1. Posted by Ben Pritchard on April 25, 2021

Sounds like a perfect way to spend an Earth Day! Really wonderful pictures as well, especially of that super cool-looking coral! As for the ID, I think it might be a White Encrusting Zoanthid, but I’m definitely no coral expert so take that with a grain of salt.

#2. Posted by Ben Pritchard on April 25, 2021

I’m so jealous you got to spend Earth Day snorkeling in a marine reserve, but I also know you totally deserve it and I’m so glad you got to have such an amazing experience! Also I just couldn’t help trying to ID that coral species, and I believe it’s a White Encrusting Zoanthid(Palythoa caribaeorum), but coming from a landlubber like me, you’ve really got to take that suggestion with a grain of salt.



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