SEA Currents: sailing
Out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Domino’s pizza delivery does not exist. Thinking of civilization back on land is weird. The concept of green pine trees lurk into my mind and then the reminder that I very well may be greeted with snow when I return stuns me, forgetting that was still a thing. As I stand bow-watch and gaze into the dark twilight of the night, I try to recall my life before this. No routine, no set schedule, no meal times, no daily clean/field days and no wake ups.
Change is in the air
Change is in the air. Whether our crew knows it or not, they have come a long way from Woods Hole and I am not counting the sea miles. I see it in our crew everyday as they begin stepping up to the plate. I remember their green faces as we set out around Martha’s Vineyard and powered south to get past the Gulf Stream. Every face expressed the same perplexed look during those first few days of remaining hove-to; “is it ALWAYS like this” as the ship pitched to and fro!
Setting most of the sails on the Cramer
Hello everyone! Today was a special day. During the night while most of the ship was sleeping and only the dawn watch was up we moved from the south Sargasso Sea to the transition zone. The transition zone is in between the south Sargasso sea and the Tropics. That means that we moved one step closer to our destination, Grenada. As we are moving south the weather is getting hotter and hotter. On deck the sun is burning especially for morning and afternoon watch but when it’s windy you can’t feel the heat.
Welcome to the tropics! On this fifth of November the Cramer and her crew crossed the Tropic of Cancer, this invisible line circling the globe at 23° 30’ N. This event (celebrated by as many aloha shirts as I could encourage people to wear) was one I was looking forward to for some time, and this for a few reasons.
I welcomed in the month of November from the floor of the lab where we were busy organizing nitrate bottles. Not only were the samples rolling about, but so were we in the red lights of our headlamps. The 12-foot swells made me feel as though I was in a Pilates class trying to keep from uncontrollably slamming into the people, tables, poles and walls around me. By the time we were relieved by A-watch at 0100, I was ready to sleep.
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.
The Robert C. Seamans is officially underway!
It was a very exciting morning aboard the Seamans. In order to be a fully functioning ship, every member of the crew (including all twenty-one students) participates in a rotating six-hour watch schedule. This means a group of people is always awake to be on lookout, do boat checks, stand at the helm, and make sure everything is working smoothly. Today was the first day of our regular watch schedule, and there was certainly a lot to see.
The countdown has already begun: “Five days,” everyone says. Still, reality has not yet set in that we will go our separate ways. Even with this realization, everyone is still upbeat: I hear the laughter when I wake up, I see the smiles at the lunch table, I feel the love of my watch, and I see everyone hard set on getting work done.
I’M ALIVE, MOM!
It has officially been a week since we set sail from American Samoa! C watch was the first standing watch to sail the SSV Robert C. Seamans. The first night was rough as most of my watch got sea sick (I still haven’t gotten sea sick), so there was a lot to do for a small amount of people. Fast forward to a few days ago, my watch was back on their feet and feeling great! All of us have experienced the wonders of the lab and how to use all the equipment, which process the samples we take out of the water.
Are You a 10?
Hello from the lifeboat! Obviously kidding, there are no computers on a life boat. In all seriousness, we are still aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans, and we are all safe. On the starboard side (right) there is the ocean and, I bet you can guess, on the port side (left) is also the ocean. We are still sailing north in the EEZ of Kiribati, and we have set the two square sails rendering us a more refined version of The Black Pearl. In two days we will hopefully be in the presence of land.