SEA Currents: c270c
End of a Successful Voyage
We arrived in San Juan harbor early yesterday afternoon under light winds and calm seas, very different from the weather in which we had departed at the start of our voyage. The afternoon featured a field day to give our beloved Cramer a much-deserved cleaning, followed by a round of student research presentations on our quarterdeck classroom. The students did an excellent job with this, and it was exciting to see all that they had accomplished during the 10-day program.
Shore’s in Sight But Memories Will Stay at Sea
The morning began with astonishing moments; San Juan to our backs, the lights making the island of Puerto Rico look like a Christmas tree that filled the sky with light and drowned out the stars. Yet to our port the stars prevailed, covering the black canvas with millions of specks radiating light to the horizon.
A Relaxing Day
Yesterday we were at anchor off the coast of Vieques (our first and only port stop). It was exciting to once again touch land with our own two feet. Re-adjusting to not moving and being on land felt different. I couldn’t tell that we had stopped until I came onto deck and saw that we had stopped. Even when I woke up today, I felt as though we had never stopped moving. I had watch at 0700 this morning.
Back on Land! (For Now)
Today was a day unlike the last six or seven. I was woken up around 1030 after a much needed long night’s rest, and was told we were going swimming! That was quite a change of pace from being awoken at 0620 for watch duties. I put on my swim suit and went up on deck to find we were anchored in beautiful Sun Bay off of an island called Vieques. About an hour later, we got debriefed on all the swimming rules, and then they let us go at it!
B Watch Up High; Drill, Drill, Drill!
My day began at 0100 this morning. C Watch was posted at dawn watch (0100 to 0700), and I was in need of a nap. After a delicious breakfast, that is exactly what I did. So my day really began at 1145. At this time, I could hear B Watch preparing to go aloft, high above the deck in the rigging of the ship. This event is one of utmost importance on our voyage. The crew have tantalized us all with the opportunity to go aloft.
Moonbows and Neuston Tows
Imagine a rainbow made of varying shades of silver extending completely across the night sky. I had no idea that this, to which we coined the term “moonbow,” existed before I saw it last night. We had just sailed through some squalls during our evening watch; it was raining, and the boat was getting knocked around in the waves, making lab work difficult to say the least. Suddenly, the storm passed and everything was calm until Gracie busted through the lab door shouting, “Guys! There’s a rainbow. AT NIGHT!”
Man the Braces, Let’s Gybe
Today was quite a fun, busy and educationally competitive day. ‘B watch’ began the day by relieving the dawn watch A at 0700. The morning was on the rough side as we began our day by sailing through 10-12 foot swells. Due to the fact that the ride was quite rocky it held challenging conditions for deploying science equipment off of the port side science deck. However, nothing holds a true scientist from researching and learning.
In the Island’s Lee
Today we continued sailing along the southern coast of Puerto Rico. We sailed southeast for most of the day, allowing for the deployment of all of the science gear, including the Secchi disk. The Secchi disk looks exactly like a white dinner plate, but instead of holding food, it is super science-y and awesome. The disk allows us to calculate light penetration into the water, which in turn gives us information about phytoplanktons’ preferred depth.
Learning the Boat
Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. We got to work a lot on sail handling, and on learning the names and locations of things in general. We started by putting the main’sl up and all the lines associated with this: the halyard, the downhaul, and the sheet. It’s very fun for me to see the different sail plans and names for things as I am a collegiate and much smaller boat sailor. My arms are a little tired today as there are no self-tailing winches or blocks with cleats, and the traveler takes at least three people to operate.
All At Sea
Today began at 0600 hours with a breakfast call for the majority of the SSV Corwith Cramer crew. However, a few unfortunate victims remained sleeping due to the placid San Juan Harbor, now a distant oasis. Breakfast consisted of waffles, eggs, bacon, vegan options for our animal lovers and a bucket full of Nutella that Bex had bewittingly hidden from us the day before. Following breakfast we received instructions for our Daily Cleanup (DC). The Corwith Cramer is decked out with environmentally friendly products, and swiffer sweepers named after pirates that we use to keep the soles, heads and showers in tip top shape.