SEA Currents: c262
If You’re on Time, You’re Late
Today began at 0500 for me, a welcome reprise from the standard 0420 wakeup for a steward- roughly two hours before breakfast is rung up. The extra sleep is owed to our being in port, where there is no need to maintain the same watch-schedule we hold while underway.
My first text message yesterday as we stepped off the boat and onto dry land: “LAND, SWEET LAND!!” If I had a smidge less dignity I would have knelt and kissed the ground we walked on. At approximately 1330, we officially arrived in Cadiz and felt something solid beneath our feet for the first time in over a week.
Ahoy land dwellers! Today we docked at 1045 after motorsailing into the entrance of the port of Cadiz to our assigned dock location. After we docked, B watch was on deck duty and secured the Cramer by hanging and coiling any loose lines, securing the ladder to go onto land, and hosing down the deck. The rest of the ship got prepared for lunch and looked at a number of resources that gave information on the city of Cadiz. At 1130 everyone mustered in the main salon to hear the schedule for our port stop over the next few days.
Andalusian Paradise: Cadiz
It’s been thirteen days since we left from Barcelona on our voyage in the Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic along the Spanish coast. Along the way we encountered pods of dolphins, pilot whales, hammerhead sharks and stunning sights ranging from Spanish and Moroccan peaks to the gorgeous views of the area surrounding the Strait of Gibraltar.
Lots has happened since my first blog, and even since our departure from Mallorca. Being at sea for so long has made it so much easier to get into the routine of watch schedules, science deployments, and sail handling. I finally feel like I have a grasp on what we are expected to know and do. And, of course, we recently learned that now is the time for a major shift in expectations, just when we were starting to get comfortable. We are officially entering Phase II of the sea component, the middle section of our trip where we begin to learn task management and much of the behind-the-scenes operation of the ship. Now it’s not enough to know how to raise and strike a sail, or what knots to tie.
Welcome to the Atlantic!
Hey friends and family! I hope you’re all doing well. Oscar here, coming to you from the SSV Corwith Cramer. Today marks a historic day for most of us onboard the Cramer and definitely one I will remember for the rest of my life. After patiently waiting near the Moroccan coast for optimal conditions, we finally sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic Ocean; a feat not many can say they’ve accomplished.
Wellesley Features SEA Semester students & alumnae
SEA Semester® in the News:
“Through Study Abroad, Wellesley Students Conduct Marine Research in the Atlantic Ocean”
Wellesley College | Oct. 13, 2015
About 45 percent of Wellesley juniors choose to study abroad for a semester or a year, according to the Office of International Study. Though most students choose programs that allow them “to perfect a foreign language, conduct field research, or to gain a new perspective on their major” on dry land, others choose to pursue an adventure that’s a little less landlocked.
Sunset Over the Mountains Near Gibraltar
In my mind today actually started at some point yesterday at about 2100 with the call of “Whales off the Starboard bow!” After quickly rolling out of my bunk, it was straight up to the bow where lo and behold, a school of pilot whales had come to play. Not a bad sight to end a night on. After that it was back to sleep since our watch (A watch) had to be up for Midwatch from 2300 to 0300. Midwatch is usually a beautiful time to be awake with the rest of the ship asleep.
Dolphins at Midwatch
As B Watch comes up on deck to relieve A Watch, the lights of coastal Moroccan cities are glittering to the southwest. We are hove to on a port tack (essentially “parked” in the water, not making any headway but drifting perpendicular to the wind) and getting ready to deploy the Neuston net. Rapid surface currents make it difficult to achieve the perfect speed for towing the net half in/half out of the water but with our mate Rocky making several adjustments to work with the seas and the wind, we manage it.
Birthday Underway to Cadiz
Today is our fourth full day underway to Cadiz from Mallorca, though it feels like my last steps on land are a lifetime away. We’ve finally begun adjusting to the watch rotation and I feel like I’ve (hopefully) gotten my sea legs after some seasickness for the first twenty-four hours of both the sails from Barcelona and Mallorca. Today was great for A-watch (my watch) as we experienced a high-traffic but reasonably calm dawn watch, beautiful sunrise, and had no day watch, allowing for some catching up on our assignments.