Our First Night at Sea

Good morning from the SSV Tole Mour!  Getting used to everything moving isn’t easy – even standing still takes effort – but we are all getting our sea legs and enjoying sailing the beautiful Channel Islands.    We’ve seen sea lions, flying fish, dolphins, pelicans, cormorants, and some fantastic floating seaweeds.

Students have now stood watch through their first full night at sea.  As part of watch, they are setting and striking sails under the direction of the captain and mates, steering, completing boat checks, standing lookout, plotting our position on the chart, and making scientific measurements.  Today we will complete our first oceanographic Super Station, and with any luck we will bring back a sediment sample from the seafloor and measure the properties of the water column to better understand the geological, physical, and chemical controls on life in these waters.

Fair Winds,

Lisa Gilbert, Associate Professor of Geosciences & Marine Science

Andrew and Hannah sampling the surface waters
C watch striking headsails on the bowsprit as the sun rose over the ocean.

The Fall 2014 Offshore Field Seminar Begins!

It’s been a busy time in Mystic! We welcomed the wonderful members of our Fall 2014 class on August 25th and time has since gone by (too) quickly! Prof. Lisa Gilbert wrote to us as F14 members completed their cross-country flight to California and began their preparations for this year’s offshore field seminar:

September 8, 2014

33.4 N x 118.5 W

Anchored off Catalina Island

Good evening from the Channel Islands! After a very early departure from Mystic, CT this morning, the Williams-Mystic Fall 2014 traveled across the country to California, arriving in time for lunch aboard the Sailing School Vessel Tole Mour. We got underway at about 3:15pm, past buoy #2, which was riding a little low from the weight of several sea lions.   Pelicans and cormorants flew by, and once we got beyond the channel, we saw a line of dolphins playing in the waves. What a start to our Field Seminar!

From the moment the students stepped on deck, they officially became crew members on the ship and were busy most of the day with safety orientations and learning to set and strike sails.

Students have been organized into three different watches: A, B, and C Watch. Each watch is led by a mate, two deckhands, and an engineer. Students are sleeping now, but starting tomorrow, they will be standing watch on a schedule taking turns through the day and night.

We’re looking forward to good sailing in the Southern Califonia Bight.

Fair Winds,

Lisa Gilbert, Associate Professor of Geosciences & Marine Science

Hannah.Tole Mour
Hannah is happy to be aboard the SSV Tole Mour and is ready to set sail!