SEA Currents: c279
May 01, 2018
Up, up, and Aloft
Although my planner doesn’t work as well here at sea, this morning still felt significant to me when I realized that today marks the first day of May, and almost two weeks onboard the Cramer. If you took away my watch and told me we’ve been sailing for months, I’d probably believe you.
April 29, 2018
Crossing Lines at Sea
Time at sea is unlike time on land. Life passes in 6-hour, cyclic phases, where some days you work under the sun and others you work under the moon and stars. It is nearly impossible to differentiate between a Monday and a Friday, and time itself has very little meaning.
April 28, 2018
The Daily Life of a Plastic Plucker
After days of stifling temperatures, lazy winds, and glassy seas, Cramer and her crew had an exciting reality check and change of pace last night. Scattered, localized rainstorms merged together around 2000 yesterday (not on my watch!) and resulted in squall conditions overnight, with pouring rain, major swells, and pushy winds. Led by the ever-intrepid B and C watches, who clipped in and foulie-d up during the night and dawn shifts, we rode through the storm, racking up miles under the powerful winds.
April 27, 2018
A week at sea & the Great Pin Rail Chase!
A week ago, at 12:13 EDT, we cast off our last line in Nassau, Bahamas and motored out to sea. It’s hard to believe we have officially been underway for a week! The days are flying by and just seem to blend together. With the revolving 6 on, 12 off watch schedule we are constantly changing our work and sleep schedule which really makes it hard to keep track of the time.
April 26, 2018
Getting Ready for the Big Race!
Tomorrow is the big day, the much anticipated Pin Rail Chase! We’ve been hard at work trying to learn every line on the boat in the past week, and we get tested on them all tomorrow in a big relay-style race between the watches. Much of today’s free time has been dedicated to really cementing our knowledge of the lines.
April 25, 2018
Adrift and Well-Rested
Slept in today until 1100 after a successful evening watch (1900-0100) with my B watch friends. The winds failed us at some point in the night, leaving me rudely awakened by increasingly sultry conditions belowdeck. Finally settling into the lopsided 18-hour watch cycle and succumbing to exhaustion means I can pretty much sleep through anything at this point, and the more I settle in, the more I find I can enjoy the small stuff; the little spark of joy I get every time I go up on deck and see the McLane pump deployed or the Neuston tow picking up samples, or the satisfaction of seeing 15 minutes of tough sail handling pay off as we pick up speed and cut through the waves.
April 24, 2018
After much heaving, hauling, sweating, and grunting, A Watch set the tops’l on the foremast not too long ago, which means today is our first day sailing with a square sail. The Cramer is making good speed with the sporty wind, especially with the tops’l set, although we are still waiting for a shift in the wind so we can sail East deeper into the Sargasso Sea.
April 23, 2018
Sleepy But Satisfied
I just got off dawn watch, so bear with me. Dawn watch is from 0100-0700. I was a helper in lab this morning, classifying the different species of Sargassum and identifying 100 animals in the sample of water that we collected at midnight. And guess what? We found a Frogfish (a fish found only associated with floating Sargassum, and nowhere else)!! And an endemic Sargassum crab! Wow. So cool.
April 21, 2018
Our first full day!
Happy world fish migration day!
Our first full day at sea has been a long one; I can hardly remember what I did this morning. C watch kicked off the day with the 0700-1300 watch.
During this time we got ready for our first scientific deployment; we set sails for heaving to, which essentially parks the Cramer so that we can safely put our gear over the side. Then, the lab team worked on data collection.
April 20, 2018
TGIF! Well, not so much on the Cramer, especially with our work just beginning! We spent the morning doing our last bit of orientation and getting the ship ready before shipping out to begin our voyage. We have had so much information thrown at us the past few days that I don’t know what stuck and what didn’t, so being underway will sure test our knowledge. We have a lot of new skills to learn, and a lot of old skills to re-learn.