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December 12, 2017

Soufriere Hills Volcano Day

Halley Steinmetz, C Watch, UMass Amherst

Caribbean Reef Expedition

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.

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December 11, 2017

Sharks and Sights of Montserrat

Alex Cormack, A Watch, SUNY ESF

Caribbean Reef Expedition

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.

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December 10, 2017

Day 15 of 28: Halfway there!

Zoya Buckmire, C Watch, St. George’s University

Caribbean Reef Expedition

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.

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December 07, 2017

Towards the Smoking Sea

Joe Benz, SUNY ESF

Caribbean Reef Expedition

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.

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December 05, 2017

Wandering the Cays

Timesha Vaughn, A watch, St. George’s University

Caribbean Reef Expedition

This past week has been an exciting one aboard the Corwith Cramer! We anchored off of Union Island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines on a beautiful day. The sky was clear and the seas calmer compared to the rough conditions we experienced a few days before. We soon got to come on shore and went about the town peeking into stores and wandering the island. A few of us hiked Fort Hill and were rewarded with spectacular views of the bay and some small islands around Union Island’s southern end.

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December 03, 2017

Aloft in the Tobago Cays

Tom Haller, C-watch, Colorado College

Caribbean Reef Expedition

While at sea, it is tough to find time to do schoolwork, relax, or even sleep; oddly enough it seems as though all 33 aboard, including the seasoned mariners, find plenty of time to slip deep into thought while staring out into the vast expanse of the ocean. Whether it is taking a break from lab work for “sunset appreciation time”, taking a moment to experience the plethora of stars which appear after the moon dips below the horizon, or, for some, desperately trying to not be sea sick, when you walk around deck you can see the gears turning in peoples’ heads.

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December 01, 2017

Our Huge World

Alex Ahlquist, B-Watch, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Caribbean Reef Expedition

Man, the world is big! I’m on the Corwith Cramer right now in port at Union Island in the Tobago Cays, and it sure is beautiful here. It sure did take a lot of work though! Life as part of a crew on a boat is pretty difficult.

Each day is work and sleep in a never-ending cycle, and I have a feeling these next 22 days are either going to fly by, or be incredibly long. It sure is a different state of being going to sleep one day, and waking up on that same day, and then having even more work to do, but it’s a lot of fun!

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November 28, 2017

Caribbean Reef Expedition: Week 7 Ashore

SEA Semester

Cami Mirow from Mt. Holyoke College describes her week ashore in Grenada before boarding SSV Corwith Cramer.

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November 27, 2017

See ya later Grenada

Zoya Buckmire, St. George's University

Caribbean Reef Expedition

So there I was. 200m from shore attempting to tread where I definitely could not stand. Our group of 21 was off Grand Anse Beach conducting our first real reef survey, and needless to say, I was a little out of my depth (pun intended). I didn’t have much deep-water snorkeling experience and I certainly wasn’t prepared for what we were doing that day.

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November 26, 2017

All aboard for Caribbean Reef Expedition

Chris Nolan, Captain

Caribbean Reef Expedition

The students of C-276 Caribbean Reef Expedition have all arrived aboard SSV Corwith Cramer and we are currently conducting rounds of training and familiarization with the ship, including how to go aloft safely, how to use the scientific equipment, and how to live and work on a 134’ tall ship.

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