Friday, 5 February 2016
Position: 18° 06.32’ N by 064° 29.96’ W
Course Ordered: 015
Speed: 2.2 knots
Weather / Wind: winds from the SW(!) at 4 to 6 knots;
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.
Back to C-watch: after an overnight snooze, they mustered at 0620, ate their
breakfast, then went up on deck for their 0700 to 1300 watch. After an
incredibly quiet night (in which mates Tristan and Farley pointed out was
probably THE quietest night so far of our voyage), C-watch—almost
-Deal with a squall, with everyone in their foulies
-Strike the jib topsail, then immediately move into setting the topsail
-Assist with 3 mildly successful Shipek grabs in 50 m of water (“I think we
hit a rock the first time”), which meant we had to motor out about 1 mile to
get to deeper waters BUT
-When the motor turned on, the stacks blew, sending soot everywhere and
facilitating the need to scrub decks not 1, not 5, not even 10 times: they
had to scrub the deck 3 (three) times.
-After motoring, they attempted and finally had a successful Shipek grab in
700 m of water
-Athanasia assisted with approximately 2 hours’ worth of dishes and galley
-Monitor small craft vessels fishing in the area
-Prepare a Neuston tow
-But finally, and I was asked to insert this verbatim by two members of
C-watch that shall remain nameless (until I mention them by name here:
Athanasia and Nicola): “the best part was having baked brie for snack!”
Quite a different experience from their evening watch! They handled it all
with ease, however, and finished up just in time for a well-deserved lunch
(quinoa salad, Greek-style butterbeans, and fresh baked bread). Great job,
Our 1430 class, as I mentioned previously, began with Virginia and Stu
presenting their Phyllosoma and Leptocepahli specimens, followed by a
presentation on dinoflagellates and diatoms by members of B-watch (Marlo,
Erica, and Thomas).
Wrapping up class for today was breakout sessions for the watches, with
Chief Scientist Lisa Gilbert, Professor Mike Nishizaki, and T.A. Hannah
Whalen assisting students as they prepare for their science presentations in
just under 2 days. Each group will be presenting findings based on the data
we’ve been collecting over the past few days (the following images presented
in marvelous, full-color GIMBAL-VISION™. Note the tilt of the table in the
first image—“GIMBAL-VISION™: now that’s life below deck!”).
Finally, a special surprise visitor: it appears we had a stowaway in one of
our student’s bags. For those versed in the lore and traditions of
Williams-Mystic, please welcome back Grover!
Grover has been a valued member of the Williams-Mystic family since the
1990s. He is the official mascot of Mallory House, and travels with students
on (almost) every field seminar. Never one to expect free passage or seem
like he is not pulling his own weight aboard the ship, Grover jumped right
for the galley, assisting with dish washing and prepping today’s dinner.
Until next time.