SEA Currents: port stops
A small reflection on the open ocean
Hello from Napier!
This morning was a busy morning as we arrived in Napier. It was the end of our mission and A watch was on duty when we struck all of the sails and motored in to dock at the Port of Napier. The Port of Napier turns out to be a largely commercial port and we are currently surrounded by large mounds of timber, piles of shipping containers, and cargo ships.
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.
This morning I got my wake up with the news that we were starting our Anchor Watch (1 hour rotations instead of a full 6 hours), and that the anchor was just now getting dropped. I stepped out onto the deck greeted by a clear sky full of stars, dark masses of land bordering our ship, and the sound of 3 shots (each shot is 90 feet) of chain being let out as our ship tethered to the sea floor. It is a bitter sweet mix of feelings seeing land again.
Wandering the Cays
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.
Aloft in the Tobago Cays
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.
Our Huge World
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!
See ya later Grenada
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.
All aboard for 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.
Here’s to C-275!
Let’s count off. Who’s here? One-two-three-four.seventeen-eighteen! Alright, we have everyone. Every shipboard muster begins with a count off, a count up or count down to ensure that all the students and staff are present. One through eighteen for the students and interns and then by department for the crew. Here are some more important and interesting numbers from the trip.
Life at Anchor
Today is our last day at anchor before we set out for a three week sail to the Kermedec Islands and back! Both students and crew are taking advantage of land while we still can, heading ashore in groups to stretch our legs, buy back-up stocks of toothpaste, and explore the quaint town of Russell. Meanwhile, Conservation and Management students are looking for local Kiwis to interview. Our class has focused on studying the use of single-use plastics in the States, particularly Falmouth, Mass.