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February 03, 2016

Rainbows, science and the pin chase

Mauro, Admissions Director, Williams-Mystic

Pin Chase Starts

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?

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February 02, 2016

Light winds over blue water

Mauro, Admissions Director, Williams-Mystic

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?

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February 01, 2016

Williams-Mystic S16 is Underway

Mauro, Admissions Director, Williams-Mystic


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.

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February 11, 2015

Bio Bay, Vieques

Richard King, Williams-Mystic

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.

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February 09, 2015

Approaching Sun Bay, Vieques

Catie Alves, Marine Science Teaching Assistant and Lab Manager with Williams-Mystic


Our equipment aboard the Corwith Cramer constantly monitors sea water temperature, salinity,  surface currents, and depth, but the majority of our scientific sampling mission is over, now that we have been sailing for four nights and sampled the geology, physics, chemistry, and biology at three major “super” stations. The next stage is that we are divided into groups to analyze and interpret what we’ve found.

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February 07, 2015

Williams-Mystic 2015 Underway

Richard King, Professor, Williams-Mystic


Hello from aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer! We have now been underway and sailing for over two nights. We are currently just north of Puerto Rico and “hove to,” holding stationary with the use of our sails, in about 700 meters of water to deploy a Shipek grab. This instrument is a specifically designed spring-loaded scoop to get a sample of the ocean bottom.

My name is Richard King, and I teach the “Literature of the Sea” course with Williams-Mystic. We arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Wednesday and quickly dropped off our bags at the hotel and went back out to explore Old San Juan.

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