Halfway There! Day 5 on the SSV Corwith Cramer


Photo Caption: Hannah from Williams College, Zak from Princeton University, and Kwasi from Williams College enjoy some reading and journal writing this morning while off watch.

2 February 2014, 1718n

SSV Corwith Cramer

Day 5, Sailing South of Vieques under four lowers

Force 3-4

Hello again!

We spent last night beating through Vieques Sound, between Culebra and Vieques. Students stood watch beneath the brilliant stars and the shining lights of the islands around us.  And although we’ve seen a significant amount of sunshine so far on this trip (I write this as the pungent smell of sunblock wafts below deck), there has been a small amount of rain nearly every day.

Everyone is eager to put on the foul weather gear that our staff and faculty adamantly told students to bring, and for good reason: you never know when a bit of rain might arrive while on watch! The precipitation certainly hasn’t worn on anyone’s spirit, though, because after every shower has followed a rainbow-each one bringing a smile to the faces of everyone on deck.

In class this afternoon, A Watch presented a report on dissolved oxygen in local waters. Professor Lisa Gilbert gave a lecture on the ways in which geology and oceanography have made human history in and around Puerto Rico. We discussed hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunami, gold, pirates, militaries, and jurisdiction and the EEZ.  Afterward, the mates led splicing demonstrations and guided their respective watches on how to create an eye at the end of a segment of manila.

There is a visible willingness shown by everyone, both students and crew who are on and off watch, to help when need be. Last night I was cleaning the galley with a member of B watch and found us both roped in to help the students on deck set the Jib Topsail. We were joined by one of the stewards who was enjoying the stars, and together we shared success. It’s been amazing to watch each student grow more confident in their knowledge of lines, sails, and the steps necessary in order to sail the Cramer. There is so much to remember and I am continuously impressed as more and more voices sound when a mate asks a question about our location or when a scientist asks for a volunteer to help cast the Neuston Net. This enthusiasm will carry everyone though the remaining 15 weeks, to Pacific Northwest and Gulf coasts, and throughout four unique interdisciplinary courses taught at Mystic Seaport. While I’m definitely excited for the second half of our offshore field seminar together, I also look ahead and can’t wait to see what’s in store for this remarkable class throughout Spring 2014.

Fair Winds,


To track the route of the SSV Corwith Cramer follow this link!

Author: williamsmystic

A one semester interdisciplinary ocean and coastal studies program integrating marine science, maritime history, environmental policy, and literature of the sea.

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