SEA Currents: colleague cruise
The Colleague Voyage begins!
A group of 14 invited colleagues from colleges and universities around the country arrived at the Corwith Cramer early this morning, and quickly stowed their gear in their bunks before mustering on the quarterdeck at 1000. Introductions of both the professional staff and the colleague participants followed, along with discussion of our general plan for the voyage. The colleagues, who are working members of the ship’s crew for the next five days, were assigned to their three watches. They held initial watch meetings and then rotated through orientation to hydrowire deployments and to sail handling.
End of our voyage: Now we are shipmates
We sailed into San Juan harbor yesterday afternoon after a swim call on the southern edge of the Puerto Rico Trench, the deepest place in the Atlantic! After passing El Morro, the 400 year old fort lit by the low angle setting sun, we dropped anchor for our final evening aboard. We shared an all-hands supper of ribs and veggie burgers, then gathered on the quarterdeck for a “swizzle” to toast Neptune and give thanks for our safe passage.
Learning by teaching
An exhilarating last full day aboard the Corwith Cramer! A-Watch went up on deck at 03:00, and watched the sliver of the moonrise, then dawn. Just before dawn, some folks practiced celestial navigation shooting stars with sextants, and then we headed down to the salon for more of Morgan and Kate’s amazing cooking: poppyseed-lemon pancakes, maple-honey bacon, and quartered oranges. In the late morning, some of us learned how to climb safely aloft, meeting and overcoming fears and spiking adrenaline!
Study Abroad at SEA
What a day for science. As a study abroad professional, I am always looking for where the “study” is put into the abroad experience. The SEA Semester’s SSV Corwith Cramer certainly does do the study and experiential component well. Under the guidance of our Chief Scientist Erik, each watch is tasked with deployments, counts, and processing of data collected, and sometimes there is general amazement at what is caught in open water. During my watch (C watch) we prepped and readied some experiments for the day.
About 6 am. Dawn is gentle over Christiansted, St. Croix. The coquies have fallen back asleep and their sweet ‘creek’ calls replaced more and more by the calls of an amorous/aggressive rooster and barking dogs. The light ‘pinks up’ over the hills, illuminating the clouds and backlighting the ridge of palm trees across the lower ridges of the island. A crescent moon floats above a brilliant star – no that’s Venus. Saturn below but no longer visible; Mars far overhead but behind the pink clouds and the glare of the rising sun.
Colleague Voyage C-263B: First day orientation
At 0900 a group of 20 colleagues from colleges, universities, and organizations around the country boarded the brigantine Corwith Cramer at Gallows Bay in Christiansted, on the island of St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. After stowing their gear in assigned bunks below, participants mingled and explored their 134’ long home and world for the next 5 days. All hands mustered on the quarterdeck for an outline of the voyage plan and introductions - both the professional staff and the colleague participants themselves, who on this Sailing School Vessel are all working members of the crew.
Docked in Woods Hole MA
After spending the night anchored in Menemsha Bight off the island of Martha’s vineyard, our voyage together came to an end bringing SSV Corwith Cramer back to her home port in Woods Hole for the first time since she departed almost a year earlier. There was a crowd to greet us on Dyer’s dock in this historic maritime village as we approached alongside Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Research Vessel Atlantis (with the submersible Alvin on board) and timed our arrival between the big Martha’s Vineyard ferries.
Returning to the Corwith Cramer
Stepping aboard the Corwith Cramer almost 30 years after young, petrified, history-major-me sailed on the first student voyage of this very ship (C-100 in 1988) I was overcome with a flood of emotion and familiarity. In both a metaphorical and intellectual sense, I was arriving back home. Even without a ship tour I already instinctively remembered and understood every nook and cranny of the ship—thirty years later. After only 6 weeks aboard, thirty years ago, this ship and its mission had been indelibly printed on my psyche. Why?
First Day at Sea
Hauling up the anchor south of Brooklyn marked our first full day at sea as we began to sail through the day and night and began our first 24-hour cycle of watch rotations alongside informative classes on the quarter deck, weather and navigation reports, scientific deployments and lab work. The boat staff of captain, scientists, mates, engineers, deckhands and stewards were the best of teachers allowing for our group of participants to learn the many tasks required to keep a ship on course while fulfilling its mission to pursue scientific studies.
NYC-Woods Hole Colleague Voyage sets sail (C-259A)
We’re underway. We all arrived safely this morning to the SSV Corwith Cramer, which was tied-up at Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park, under brilliant blue skies. After the SEA crew welcomed everyone aboard (there are 33 of us, SEA crew and colleagues) and stowed our gear, we started getting to know one another and learn about life on the ship. We were organized into three watch groups, where we learned about the ship’s operations, line handling, boat checks, and science deployments.