SEA Currents: williams-mystic
February 06, 2017
Birthday at Sea
Good morning from the SSV Corwith Cramer!
On Sunday, February 5, a pod of dolphins surfed our bow wake at sunrise.
February 04, 2017
Ashore in St John, USVI
Good afternoon from the SSV Corwith Cramer. This morning Williams-Mystic S17 went ashore in St John, U.S. Virgin Islands. As the sun rose, we took the small boat ashore to gather on an empty beach for class and snorkeling. Prof. Mike Nishizaki and I discussed the geography, geology, conservation, and reef ecology of St John. Next, TA Hannah Whalen reviewed snorkeling safety. Students put their notebooks down, and then paired up to explore the reef a few steps away. As we swam, pelicans dove for small fish.
February 02, 2017
A Sweet Day on the Corwith Cramer
Good afternoon from the SSV Corwith Cramer. We are excited to be celebrating Sarah P’s birthday today! Sarah (UConn) and the rest of B watch had breakfast at 0620 this morning. What a treat: Assistant Steward Ger made scrumptious cinnamon rolls!
After breakfast, the watch came up on deck to begin their science Super Station. Here the water is relatively shallow (360 m or 1180 ft deep) so we were able to use our sediment grab to scoop some carbonate mud off the bottom. In with the mud were a few small shells and a live brittle star.
January 30, 2017
Williams-Mystic S17 Heads Offshore
Good afternoon from the SSV Corwith Cramer. I’m Lisa Gilbert, Chief Scientist and Williams-Mystic professor, here with my colleagues Prof. Mike Nishizaki and Teaching Assistant Hannah Whalen, the Spring 2017 Williams-Mystic students, and Cramer’s professional crew. The S17 Williams-Mystic students arrived Mystic Seaport just one week ago from colleges and universities all over the country, and now here we are 7 nautical miles off the coast of Puerto Rico.
February 05, 2016
0 to 60: The Saga of Life Aboard a Ship
Greetings from the Cramer, about 17 nm from Virgin Passage. This is Mauro once again with your daily update.
C-watch had an uneventful watch yesterday from 1900 to 2300. Winds were light and variable, and eventually died down around the time A-watch took the deck. Despite all our best efforts (singing and whistling wind songs, trying to do wind dances), we couldn’t muster any winds. A-watch used the relatively low speed to do a midnight Neuston net tow, capturing, among other things, larval eels (Leptocephali) and spiny lobsters (Phyllosoma) which were presented to the crew at our 1430 class by Stu and Virginia.
February 04, 2016
On nautical science, sail handling, and the music of a ship
Greetings from the Cramer, currently located within eyesight of the island of St. Croix (we’ve yet to make landfall-we’re just sailing on by!). This is Mauro once again with your daily update.
Last evening’s watch, like all watches, proved to be an exciting one. With wind direction changing and wind speed picking, A-watch had the opportunity to strike the main sail at 2000 yesterday evening. For the first time on our voyage our group had to strike the main, under the cover of night with 10 people. A-watch succeeded in their task, and then quickly proceeded to strike the jib. This required some brave individuals to go out on the bowsprit and furl the jib. Special shout-out here to Cloey (College of New Rochelle ‘17) who, without hesitation, was the first to make her way to the bowsprit, clipped in with her safety harness, and climbed out to the very end and began furling the jib! Great job to everyone involved-it was an excellent team effort.
February 03, 2016
Rainbows, science and the pin chase
Yet another gorgeous morning on Corwith Cramer, with Puerto Rico’s mountains to our west and the seemingly infinite Atlantic stretching out to the east.
A brief rain greeted B watch this morning, but students-under the direction of the watch captain-struck the JT and began a slow gybe to create optimal conditions for science deployments. Drenched, yet smiling, laughing, and in high spirits, all on deck had the opportunity to see a double rainbow off the port side. We eventually hove to - essentially “parked” - for our third and final science super station. B Watch mustered on the science deck and students were taking turns deploying various pieces of equipment off the port side. First, a secchi disk was sent out, measuring the depth of light penetration in the water column (giving us an indication of how much photosynthesis is occurring). Any guesses how deep the students were able to maintain sight of the white disk?
February 02, 2016
Light winds over blue water
Greetings again from Mauro aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer, slowly gaining ground (moving along at 0.9 knots) as we head generally towards Virgin Passage.
Currently Williams-Mystic S16 is enjoying a swim call in the beautiful blue waters above the Puerto Rico Trench, a much welcomed break after today’s class: up and overs (going aloft), sail handling, and review for our pin chase tomorrow. Second Mate Eric informed us that many sailors were not considered sailors until they completed their first up-and-over—though they did so in harbor. I wonder, then, what sort of sailors that makes our class, who completed their first aloft session approximately 45 nautical miles away from the nearest harbor?
February 01, 2016
Williams-Mystic S16 is Underway
Greetings from the waters outside of San Juan, Puerto Rico! My name is Mauro, the Admissions Director with Williams-Mystic, and current resident-for the next 10 days—of the foc’sle upper bunk, port side (in an area affectionately known as the Anti-Gravity Chamber). I’m here with 17 great students and Teaching Assistant Hannah Whalen and Professors Lisa Gilbert and Mike Nishizaki on Williams-Mystic’s Spring 16 (S16) Offshore Voyage.
February 11, 2015
Bio Bay, Vieques
A watch has the deck now as the rest of the ship finishes up their science projects or catches a nap before this morning’s science “conference,” during which students will present and interpret the data we collected during our three primary stations during our voyage: one in deep water, one in slope water, and one in more shallow, coastal water. Rani Onyango (Williams) is at the wheel as I write, steering the ship. The other members of her watch, Aramis Sanchez (Williams), Kevin Ferreira (SUNY Maritime), Stella Klema (Smith), and Emily Volkmann (Smith) are up forward with the first mate and their assistant scientist striking, setting, and adjusting sails in order to alter course from sailing downwind, to a more westerly course that is closer to the wind.