SEA Currents: sailing
Today was an exciting day for all of us! The wind picked up, there was a lot of science to do and we had a fire drill during class. Throughout our watches the weather had picked up making our jobs on board a little more difficult. Dinner was interesting as our gimbaling tables were tilting about 30°. Half of us were sitting at a very low table and the other half had their plates up near their mouths! Being on deck now meant we had to be more cautious and the bow became the splash zone when the wind and waves picked up.
Learning the Ropes
Day 1 at Sea
Morale was (and remains) high as we waved adios to Barcelona in the light of the rising sun. We are finally en route for the island of Mallorca off the coast of Spain and the weather could not be more perfect. The sun is shining, the temperature is mild and the seas are gently rolling as we slowly glide toward our destination. Things are slightly hectic on board as we all attempt to adjust to our new sleeping, eating, and working schedules. The crew have been wonderful in showing us the ropes (literally) of sailing and inhabiting the Corwith Cramer.
Of Sharks, Whales and Squalls.
It has been about 5 weeks and over 2500 nautical miles since Hawaii. Nikumaroro is now astern of us, about 1.5 miles away as we slowly, but surely leave her behind.
I’ll never forget Nikumaroro. I had one day on the island, and it couldn’t have been a more remarkable day. Just being there knowing that there’s no one else but you and the island in all of her glory (excluding the thriving rat population of course) is a truly wonderful state of being. If you ever get a chance to sail to Nikumaroro, do it. But today’s story has nothing to do with Nikumororo even though many tales circle around our three days spent there.
Well here it is, our last day at sea before reaching the bustling port of Lisbon, Portugal. The prevailing Northerlies have really come through for us in the past 36 hours, and we’ve had the distinct pleasure of sailing downwind before a following sea and beneath some lovely altocumulus artwork. As Ryan, Steve, and Elliot taught us yesterday, these winds are a result of the Azores high, also known as the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre. As warm tropical air moves North in the atmosphere to these temperate latitudes, it cools down and sinks, creating a region of relatively high pressure at the surface.
Doug here reporting in from the seas off the coast of Portugal. Since we had very favorable winds so far on this leg of the voyage, we are a bit ahead of schedule. So instead of arriving in Lisbon early and freaking out our Portuguese friends, we are simply sailing to sail. Currently, we are sailing under the main, the mainsail, the foresail, and the jib. The extra time gives us the opportunity to work on our second papers (which are due upon arrival in Lisbon) and improve our sailing practices.
We are enjoying a calm and productive Dawn Watch here on the SSV Corwith Cramer, making quite a bit of headway towards Lisbon, Portugal. Favorable winds are allowing us to sail dead South on a run towards our destination. The ship feels squeaky clean after Field Day yesterday, during which we scrubbed every inch of the interior (or at least it felt that way).
Finisterre, or “Land’s End” is a place name that repeats itself frequently on the European coast, its individual versions each marking the spot where land runs out and ocean begins. This final corner of Spain marks the southern limit of the Bay of Biscay, and the eastern edge of the Azores High, which here in mid-summer is giving us a beautiful morning. It’s a boundary area for several current and weather systems, and has been a busy place for marine life. In recent days we’ve had productive plankton tows, bird sightings.. even a fish, hooked briefly on our trolling line before making its escape.
C254 Blog 15 July 2014
Good Morning to all back home! Stephen here, reporting on the Corwith Cramer’s daily functions. We are currently.SAILING! After motor-sailing for the last couple of days since leaving Douarnenez, everyone was getting anxious to get back under sail. The winds are finally coming at us from the west allowing us to set the Four Lowers and the JT as the sun shines over the Bay of Biscay. This morning, while I was on dawn watch, dolphins protruded out of the water around us! The fascinating creatures cruised ahead of us, exciting the crew and students alike to see such fauna in the pre-dawn moonlight.
MOCHNESS + Pilot Whales
I’m not going to lie, today has been BUSY! Saturdays really are full of fun, learning and aquatic treats. Today started out for A Watch with a fast paced morning watch, sailing under all fore and aft sails up until our science station at 0900. The much anticipated MOCNESS made its first foray into the depths for this trip with a 400 meter tow, cumulatively taking about two hours of towing time. Molly and Erik did some spot on steering, with over a mile of wire over the side.
Approach to the Equator
Hello to all you Lovely Land Lubbers (We love alliterations here aboard the Mama Seamans), this is Marissa, 1/3 of the D.O.D, or Department of Deckhands that is sailing this awesome PIPA SEA Semester. Today has been yet another glorious day aboard, and as we pasted through the meteorological equator aka the Doldrums, aka the ITCZ, we have been able to secure the Main Engine and sail once more.