SEA Currents: celestial navigation
July 22, 2015
A Sea of Stars
The Cramer has been doggedly making her way southwest, and everyone aboard cherishes hopes of cloudless skies and the steady, favorable breezes of the Portuguese trades once we turn the corner off Cape Finisterre. The Bay of Biscay has offered us a mix of marvelous sailing and tedious motoring, but all of it under a seemingly endless dome of clouds varied only by whether those clouds are actively misting on us or not.
July 17, 2015
Course steered: 225˚with Toaea at the helm. He is I-Kiribati, an observer, mostly silent like Wind: Beaufort force 2. Not enough to make Speed: 7.5 knots against a countercurrent, so under the forestays’l and mainstays’l we again find ourselves Motorsailing across the Pacific. Position: 0˚58.150’S x 169˚42.0’W
July 16, 2015
Looking up at the stars from the bow of the ship, humming melodies at long last remembered from childhood, I thought of what the coming day would bring. Anticipation of crossing the equator, the first time for the majority of us, runs rampant about the ship. You can hear whispers of the projected time when we will cross it through the hallways, from Sleepy Hollow to The Foc’sle. An imaginary line divvying the globe into two sections, the equator holds different expectations for everyone.
June 25, 2015
High Seas, High Grades
Today we were reminded we are sailing in the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Wind and waves reached among their highest yet on this trip. It was a surprisingly comfortable ride now that we are so in-tune with the Cramer. Despite the pitching and rolling, we had an eventful day. As planned, our poster presentations began today during class.
June 23, 2015
Let the JWO phase begin!
Last night’s evening watch marked the beginning of Phase 3, the JWO (Junior Watch Officer) and JLO (Junior Lab Officer) phase. From here on out the students will be putting their newly acquired knowledge to the test and running the ship on deck and in lab, while the mates and assistant scientists take a step back, guiding with a more hands off approach. Our first three JWOs were JJ from A Watch (evening watch), Darcy from B Watch (midwatch), and Clare from C Watch (dawn watch).
June 21, 2015
Imagine you are fast asleep until you suddenly awake in a small bunk, tossed by a large swell, and you instantly remember that you are on a dark ship in the middle of the ocean. This is how I welcomed in my 20th birthday on June 21st, by scrambling to gather myself and make it on deck for Mid-Watch, from 2300 to 0300. It felt surreal as I made my way through the galley and onto the deck of the Robert C. Seamans, making sure not to be toppled over by the constant ebbing and flowing of the ship.
June 09, 2015
Safety drill: Oscar has been saved
Today marks the sixth day at sea for us here aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer. It has been a lovely day filled with sunshine and plenty of smiles as the last of us have finally reached the end of our sea sickness. For C watch, our day started last night on our watch from 1900-2300. We were amazed by one of the most beautiful sunsets you could imagine, which several people said looked like it was painted across the sky.
June 07, 2015
The tide is high, but I’m holding on!
Day 4 at sea, and it already feels like weeks. From the moment we boarded the Cramer in Woods Hole, there has been so much to learn and see and do. From music on the quarterdeck to watching dolphin pods skip playfully out of the water under the bow net, it has been an exhilarating experience thus far! It’s pretty hard to believe we’ve only been underway for three days. In that time, we’ve collected plankton net samples, neuston tows, and hydrocast data, and have raised and lowered most of the sails on the ship.
April 07, 2015
Sunrise, Sunset, and Stars!
One phenomenon of the rotational watch schedule is that on one day out of every three, you stand afternoon watch (1300-1900) and see the sun set, followed by dawn watch (0300-0700) where you get to enjoy the sunrise. It makes for a bizarre sleep schedule but on a clear night it is well worth it. Last night was one of the most incredible views of the sky I have ever seen.
April 03, 2015
Time: A Human Invention of Great Use at Sea
Today marks the first 24 hour period that we will observe as the 3rd of April. How is this possible? Tonight we will cross the International Date Line, which, unlike the equator, tropics, or ant/arctic circles, does not represent any change in natural phenomena. It is rather the other side of the prime meridian (itself an arbitrary line) that runs through Greenwich, England. Although it is arbitrary, the Date Line is important because of our attention to time.