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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: c256

November 25, 2014

Sleep at own risk: excitement abounds

Chris Bunn, A watch, Colorado College

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

“Ugh,” I thought to myself as I was gently woken for watch at the civilized hour of 2300.  Yes, I’ll admit it, there are times aboard this beautiful vessel where I do not spring lightly from my bed, struggling to contain my enthusiasm for watch.  For this particular watch though, I was mistaken. This was not your average evening-watch, plodding along with little to do. No, this was mid-watch: home of the midnight Neuston Tow. Now dear reader you might be wondering, “What is so special about another Neuston Tow?”

November 24, 2014


Megan Lubetkin, B-Watch, Bates College

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

The concept of experiential learning is one that many schools, universities, and programs preach to prospective students. It’s easy for me to say that this first week spent at sea on the Cramer has been far more than just a typical ‘experiential learning’ program-this has been one of the most rewarding and whole experiences of my life (while aboard a tall ship crossing the Atlantic it’s hard for it not to be).

November 23, 2014

The Mothership

Tanner Tillotson, Assistant Engineer

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Corwith Cramer is stately as she moves through the water.  With many ships, this might be a euphemism for “sluggish” but not so here.  When on the helm, she responds to a turn of the wheel after a thoughtful pause, like a patient teacher giving a student a moment to reconsider their answer.  When the wind comes up, she’ll pick up speed with equal gravitas, accelerating smoothly rather than lurching out of the gate.  The first time I was told we were making over ten knots, I was amazed, because I never would have guessed.

November 22, 2014

Just your typical day at sea!

Zachary Godfrey, B Watch, Rhodes College

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Today started early for me when I was roused to prepare for dawn watch at 0230. After getting my headlamp, knife, water bottle, and harness I made my way up to the lab where I would be stationed for the next four hours.  The watch before ours left us a little surprise: their Neuston tow yielded over 350 mL of zooplankton! There was a pint jar full of euphasiids (aka krill) and our 100-count observation was the easiest to date considering euphausids are easy to identify given their large size (for zooplankton) at just under a centimeter in length.

November 21, 2014

Moon walking in the North Atlantic Gyre

Winnie Davis, B Watch, Sewanee - The University of the South

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Greetings from the Atlantic Gyre! November 21 marks yet another bumpy day on the Corwith Cramer. Everyone appears to have adjusted to the background cacophony of dishes rolling back and forth in their shelves in the main salon and we are learning to walk with the movement of the ship’s rolling and pitching—the stance reminds me of moonwalking.

Early in the morning, on dawn watch, the deck crew spotted a pod of dolphins off the bow, playing in the waves and leaving trails of bioluminescence. Their bodies almost looked like ghosts gliding through the water.

November 20, 2014

Squally Night!

Emma Hayward, A Watch, Eugene Lang College - the New School for Liberal Arts

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

I suppose it all started during yesterday’s class.  Despite a rolling ship, the increasing winds and wave height was not enough to keep us from learning.  Faculty, crew, and students alike converged on the quarterdeck to hear the day’s weather, navigation, and science reports. Mama Cramer was racing along at a speedy 9.3 knots, and Craig stood at the helm while Nick, one of our scientific voyagers, began to explain to us just what his research project has to do with our ship.

November 19, 2014


Jeffrey M. Schell, Chief Scientist

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Every day at sea is different than the next - not all that profound when you think on it, but already we find ourselves wondering - how are we going to top this day?  Did we already peak so early in the voyage?  Can it get any better?  Well, I suppose it doesn’t have to get better, it just surprises us in new and unexpected ways. and that is what we have for this Wednesday, the 19th of November. 

The day for me began at 0600 with a morning wake up - a call for breakfast and an off-hand comment that if I planned on taking my coffee up on deck to be sure and bring my foul weather jacket!

November 18, 2014

Birthday at SEA!

Sarah Herard, Chief Mate, C-197 Alum

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Hello Friends and Family!
This is Sarah, Chief Mate of the Corwith Cramer. I’m writing after a fantastic birthday at sea. Below is a list of some amazing things that happened onboard today:

Fresh small, sweet strawberries at breakfast:
My favorite morning meal is breakfast sandwiches. I was so happy to sit down at the table this morning before watch to find a spread of fresh fixin’s for biscuit sandwiches. A platter of fresh fruit as a side included fresh berries and bananas provisioned in Las Palmas.

November 18, 2014

Best wishes from a SEA Semester alum

Katie George, SEA Semester alumna, c-243

SSV Corwith Cramer at dock

Dear Students,

You are about to embark on one of those crazy once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. But you know that. What you don’t know is that this experience will enthrall and exhaust you. There will be conflict and head-butting; this happens when you put people so close together. There will also be bonds forged that last years - maybe a full lifetime although I can’t say that yet as I’m still living.

November 17, 2014

Greetings Wildlife Enthusiasts

Farley Miller, Able Bodied Ships' Carpenter (Sailing Intern)

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Our first full day on the water got off to one impressive start! Dawn greeted an eager morning shift B-Watch, and we offered our salute by raising more sail and shaking out the reef in the mains’l, edging out another precious few knots. Our local whaling historian, Ger Tysk, was chuffed (after being rudely pulled out of her bunk) at the sighting of a pair of sperm whales around 1030. They were identified by the low, forward raked spout.

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