SEA Currents: caribbean.
Welcome to the SEA Penn State program blog! I am happy to report that all 24 Penn State participants (22 students, their professor Monica Medina, and TA Aki Ohdera) safely arrived in San Juan and boarded the Corwith Cramer at 1100 this morning. After a quick muster on the quarterdeck for introductions, we transited the ship to a nearby anchorage in San Juan Harbor, blissfully leaving the noisy harbor behind. Orientation to the ship began almost immediately after anchoring and an All-Hands lunch.
End of Caribbean Reef Expedition C-276
The crew of the Corwith Cramer has arrived in San Juan to mark the end of SEA Semester’s first Caribbean Reef Expedition program. All hands had a great time snorkeling and sailing in the waters of Grenada, St. Vincent, Montserrat, Antigua, Barbuda, and the USA.
Adventures in Barbuda
Aboard the Corwith Cramer travelling by sea, her lovely crew and I have seen Grenada, Tobago Cays, Canouan, Montserrat, Antigua and Barbuda. This past month has been filled with countless adventures and breathtaking moments too profound to ever forget. The feeling of sailing in the dark on a moonless night is amazing.
Caribbean Reef Expedition: Week 9 (At sea, Montserrat)
Halley Steinmetz, from UMass-Amherst, describes snorkeling the reefs around Montserrat and a tour of the volcano, as part of Caribbean Reef Expedition.
Beside the Corwith Cramer, Barbuda stretches out- low-lying and tranquil, encompassing half the horizon. The water is the kind of clear aqua blue that you would expect to find on a brochure advertising some type of dream getaway; and the sun warms my skin as I lean into a wind that hasn’t seen humans since it left the Sahara Desert to blow across the Atlantic.
Hello from Antigua!
We arrived here early this morning, around 0800, after one day’s sail from Montserrat. As we steered into this bay, four ridiculously huge cruise ships pulled in as well, making our 134ft tall-ship look like a toy boat. While we waited for Captian Chris to clear us into customs, we watched these gargantuan boats pass us by, each carrying thousands of people.
Soufriere Hills Volcano Day
Way back in early November (while we were in Woods Hole) I had no idea that I was signing up to write the blog post for one of the coolest days of this trip. That’s right: today, our class got to visit the Soufriere Hills Volcano and its observatory! We picked a great day to visit, too. The wind was blowing all the smoke that continuously flows out of the top of the volcano towards the opposite side of the island. We were presented with a beautiful, clear view of the lava dome that has been building up since the most recent eruption in 2010.
Sharks and Sights of Montserrat
So there I was, done with my first transect for the day. Steph and I finished our sampling early in Rendezvous Bay and instead of doing another as professional scientists would, we decided to explore. The reef in Montserrat was one of the best we’ve seen so far, even better than the Tobago Cays I’d say. The diversity of coral was surprising and exciting to see, as were the fish. Some big sights of the day include a lionfish, two sea turtles, and a big fat barracuda.
Day 15 of 28: Halfway there!
So there I was, in 10 ft. waves sailing North in the surprisingly rough waters of the Caribbean Sea. The Cramer was performing all sorts of acrobatics and the gimbled tables in the salon were swinging wildly from side to side. Having just left our 4-day port stop in St. Vincent, most of us hadn’t regained our sea legs yet. We were having a hard enough time focusing on standing watch when, suddenly, a squall hit. Rain, wind, waves – it was chaos.
Towards the Smoking Sea
Today we continued our sail to the volcanic island of Montserrat, hopefully arriving tonight to deploy our science equipment off the coast. While waking up at 6 has never been something I’d plan for back home, such is life on the Cramer.
Snorkeling in the Cays has been the highlight of the trip so far. It had by far the greatest variety of fish, and the urchins I’m looking at for my project are almost carpeting some areas.