Updates From Offshore: Chief Scientist Tim Pusack

Hello All!!! WM F’21 is on the Corwith Cramer for their sea adventure. The
first few days have been very busy getting settled in, learning the ways of the ship, starting science, and getting use to the motion of the ocean. Over the past five days we have done quite a bit.

After many important orientations to the ship, We left Rockland, ME on Wednesday 9/22 and got to “swing the compass.” This means that we had to establish the deviation for Cramer. What does this mean? We are on a steel sailing vessel, which as you might imagine, would affect what our compass reads. All ship have some sort of deviation which you have to account for when plotting a course. During the yard period prior to our boarding, Cramer was hauled out, as she usually is for maintenance, and had a good amount of welding done. This affected the previous deviation and so we needed to establish new deviation. Once that was complete we then needed to navigate the labyrinth of lobster traps that expand near shore all over Maine.

Once we successfully navigated that tangle of traps we were free to use the ample wind, which was blowing 10-20 knots. This was a good strong breeze for use to make 7 knots, but also meant a 4-6 ft swell which caused many of the students to hope for the sea legs as soon as possible. The students slowly have gained the sea legs and as the conditions calmed down Saturday night all are feeling much better. We recently had a class on the “greenhand” experience, which they all could relate to.

While underway the students have been learning their lines, setting sails, and doing science. Science has been happening at all hours of the day, for science never sleeps. So far we have trawled for creatures of the ocean realm, collect sediments from the sea floor, and captured water from the depths. Every day we collected a variety of information to maintain a continuous log of oceanographic factors. We have also completed two of our three super stations which include deploying a CTD, which measures salinity, temperature, and depth, on our hydrocast which captures waters from depths chosen by our students to test a hypothesis. We have a lot more science to come with presentations ahead.

Today was Sunday 9/26 and after a rainy morning doing science the sun came
out and we had a beautiful afternoon sail. All in all, we are all in good spirits and looking forward to fair winds as we continue to explore the ocean, push beyond our comfort zones, and add memories to each of our life stories. 

Chief Scientist Tim Pusack

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