by Christina Moon, F10
Here we are, already in week six, and the semester is chugging along – there’s so much to share! I hope that with these weekly updates, I’ll be able to really give you a glimpse into all of the great things we do here. So let’s start at the beginning…
Opening days were a whirlwind of unpacking into our new rooms, meeting classmates, orientations galore, tours of the seaport…and it was all even crazier because of the anticipation before our first field seminar! Just as soon as we settled down in Mystic, off we went to Woods Hole, MA to meet our new home for the next eleven days – the SSV Corwith Cramer.
It’s nearly impossible to describe all of the amazing experiences our offshore sail brought to us. Our cruise track brought us from our starting point, through the Cape Cod Canal, into Boston Harbor for a night (running away from Hurricane Earl!), up to the Gulf of Maine, and to our final destination, Rockland, ME. Here are a few highlights from throughout the trip: classes held on the quarterdeck where we discussed everything from lobsters to the ins and outs of the ship’s engine room, incredible whale watching, climbing aloft to the tops of the masts, conducting science deployments all over the Atlantic Ocean, delicious food made in the galley, swim calls by the captain and jumping off the bowsprit into the “pool” (the cold waters of Maine in September), the best star-gazing, sunrises, sunsets, and just so much more.
The most memorable thing, however, that we took away from our time at sea was the experience of living like a sailor. We slept in bunks that we shared with all of the gear we had packed in our duffle bags and became accustomed to taking navy showers every three days. Our entire class was divided into three separate watch groups and there was no telling when you were assigned to be on deck or when “all hands” would be called and you were required to report for duty no matter what. We learned the lines and where everything was on Cramer so we could hoist, strike, and furl sails when the wind changed suddenly and we needed to shift directions. Everyone came aboard with different levels of expertise and knowledge of sailing, but we all walked away with unforgettable memories. Good thing our next field seminar is right around the corner…I can’t wait for California on Saturday!