SEA Currents: megafauna
Hitting the Wall
We’ve whipped our way out of Bermuda, wearing a little extra paint off of our starboard side from the steady port tack. After sailing for the last four days set for maximum sail area, the trip towards the coast has been pushing a zesty seven or eight knots. After taking our stop ashore and watching the little island of Bermuda fade into the distance, it has strange to take in how familiar and consistent the ocean can sometimes be.
Man Overboard (drill)!!
This afternoon we continued sailing through the Virgin Passage as we passed St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. It was a hot 80 degree day with light wind and we were finally able to put up an additional two sails, the fisherman and the jib topsail. Two playful dolphins passed the ship twice throughout the day that circled the ship.
We have spent the last couple of days sailing our way to Puerto Rico. Last night was our last dawn watch for C-watch and the last watch we will ever have on this boat L. Dawn watch is always difficult but we kept ourselves awake with puppy chow and just making each other laugh. After six hours of making up songs and just being loopy, all our dreams came true when at 0640 a bunch of dolphins came to play in our ship’s wake!
What a different way to wake up for the crew of the Corwith Cramer this morning. Drawn from its slumber by Rachel’s singing voice, the entire ship’s company got a wake up at once - something unheard of underway when an entire watch is awake and working at any given time. New sights and sounds greeted the early risers as they stepped onto deck: a risen sun behind a verdant hill dotted with houses, high frigates already soaring in the air, a barking dog, stately pelicans grazing the flat water surface with their wingtips.
First day of Sailin’ and dolphins
Bon Voyage, land!
We started my day with breakfast then chores. My watch was in charge of scrubbing the deck (I’ve been calling it the poop deck until someone tells me that it is not the poop deck). After chores we were released to do our independent study. Caleb, Will, and my project for Sense of Place, are to observe and document the taskscape of Mount Eden, Auckland’s tallest dormant volcanoes.
The Happy Sad Times
Today was the first day we were able to set eyes on land after 10 days, and it was miraculous. Despite the incredible calculations and the spirit of B-watch, they were not the first to see New Zealand; Rather, it was C-watch, with Graeme giving the loudest “Land-Ho!!” he could as he was the first to see it.
It continued to be an exciting day as we got closer to land.
First day of shadow phase
Dear Family and Friends,
First of all, I would like to start by explaining how surreal this experience truly is. With seasickness long gone, we can now experience and understand the wonders of the sea. The ability to walk on deck at any hour of the day and see nothing but deep blue sea and perfectly clear horizon is an incredible unprecedented experience for me. With no light pollution for hundreds of miles, you are able to see everything from ships in the far distance to a perfect celestial sphere in the night sky.
Listening for Whales off Tonga
We have been deploying a hydrophone each morning during our science station to hopefully pick up on whale song along our cruise track. Humpback whales breed and calve in Tongan waters each year and we’ve seen them blow, breach, and flap around periodically.
One question we’ve faced while listening to the hydrophone is, what noises are generated from the boat and what sounds are actually from the whales?
Today, during our hydrophone, the science team was able to isolate vessel noises thanks to support from Ted and Mike, our engineers on board.
As the assistant engineer aboard the good ship Robert C. Seamans, you may not be surprised that I often frame the world around me in numbers. I tend to like things that are quantifiable and measurable. The ship around me is full of these numbers, and it’s our job in the engine department to track them, record them, make sense of them. We use these numbers to know when it’s time to perform critical maintenance - the starboard generator has run 168.9 hours since its last oil change, and will be due for another in 31.1.
We have once again lost sight of land and are somewhere sailing in the South Pacific ocean. The only thing that we can see are the clouds passing by with an occasional whale tail flopping out of the water during the day, and countless shooting stars at night. We are underway, heading south to our second destination in Tonga, Nuku’alofa where we will dock for a few days.