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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: c256

December 23, 2014

A Note From the Aft Cabin

Sean S. Bercaw, Captain

The Wx (weather) is beautiful, but the ship is quiet with the students departed, as C-256 has officially ended. It was an epic voyage and truly impressive in the annals of SEA – many, many miles sailed with few engine hours.  But what was even more impressive was the community that developed aboard. Bringing both Maritime Studies and Scientific voyagers aboard to augment the students worked out delightfully well, adding a depth to their SEA experience.

December 23, 2014

Successful Conclusion of C-256

Jeff Schell, Chief Scientist

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Happy to report the successful conclusion of C256 - Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean. 

The Cramer and her crew are securely tied up alongside the pier in Gallows Bay, Christiansted, St Croix, USVIs. 

The students have made their way to the airport and will soon be recounting their tales of adventure on the high seas, to family and friends!

December 22, 2014

C-256 Swizzle

Matt Hirsch, First Assistant Scientist

The academic portion of C256 is all wrapped up, which might lead you to believe that we are all taking it easy on the Cramer, but the ship is still bustling with activity. This morning, while at anchor in Francis Bay in the beautiful national park of St. John, USVI, the entire ship’s company did our most thorough cleaning of the ship yet. It started out with an activity called bunk love, in which all of the off-going crew packs away their souvenirs, foul weather gear, and foul smelling clothes to empty and clean their bunks.

December 22, 2014

C-256 Class Representative

Jeff Schell, Chief Scientist


Just a note that Sarah (Winnie) Davis has been unanimously elected as C256 Class Representative. Winnie eagerly volunteered and was quickly supported by all her shipmates.  She is the class rep for her high school and has already jumped front and center to her task.

December 21, 2014

Findings and Francis Bay

Craig Marin, Maritime Studies

As the C256 voyage draws to a close, so too does the academic work. This morning, students presented their “Change Paper” on-site research findings to the ship’s company. With so many things to share about their island explorations, the students easily filled the allotted 4-hour time slot with details relating to their projects focused on everything from language and religion to the conservation of marine resources and island land use.

December 20, 2014

Aphorisms, Clichés, and Quotes

Jeff Schell, Chief Scientist

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

There is a time and a place for everything – and at 0650 this morning the wisdom of these words is slowly dawning upon me.  Today I am tasked with the daily blog for cruise C256 – and the bar has been set very high these past many weeks.  Dear readers, I do not want to disappoint, but I must admit as I type these words I am a reluctant author.  As we approach the final days of our voyage it is only natural to look back upon all that we have accomplished, to reflect upon what we have learned, and to imagine what we are now capable of achieving with the wealth of accumulated experience and wisdom shared on this voyage.

December 19, 2014

Tattoos and Tall Ships

Matthew Alan Porter, Mystic Seaport Museum of America

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Most of my maritime training has been geared towards learning about 19th Century sailors’ traditional lives at sea and at home. One of my favorite things to talk to people about is traditions that have continued into modern day tall ship sailing, parallel older traditions, or are just beginning. Tattoos, both nautical or otherwise, are a continually evolving tradition. Some maritime tattoos can simply be talismans for good luck, while other can signify great achievements.

December 18, 2014

Preparing for Science on the Saba Bank

Clare Morrall, Visiting Scientist

T’was one week before Christmas and we’ve just set sail, departing the island of Saint Martin/Sint Maarten and heading for St. John in the US Virgin Islands!

This is Clare- I’m a visiting scientist who has had the privilege of working with the fantastic C256 faculty and students since the end of September. I’ve taken a sabbatical from my position at St. George’s University in Grenada in the southern Caribbean and I’ve had a great few months with SEA ashore in New England and on board the Cramer.

December 16, 2014

A Word (or two) from Engineering

Mickey Cavacas, Engineer

Greetings blog readers! This is Mickey, the ship’s engineer here. Sorry in advance for how much I jump around during today’s blog post.

Back on November 23rd the other engineer aboard, Tanner gave a description of why engineers are needed onboard a sailing vessel, so I’ll just refer you all to that post for a refresher. Instead of rehashing that, I would like to give you a statistical overview of some engineering numbers for our Atlantic crossing.

December 15, 2014

An Island and a Gallery

Gabrielle Page, 2nd assistant scientist

Ahoy from the Corwith Cramer! Today marked our arrival to our second port stop of the trip: the island of Sint Maarten/St. Martin. Before settling in the clear blue waters of our anchorage, the “on” watch had a busy morning preparing for our arrival. In lab, a flurry of students and scientists collected some last pieces of data before our time in port. In addition to our loyal Neuston net, we deployed our dip net to collect Sargassum as well as our Tucker Trawl net in search of plastic pieces in the water column.

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