S12 – Keeping the ship in tip-top shape!

SSV Corwith Cramer February 3, 2012

Position: 24 49’N x 084 45’W

Heading: 175 T

Speed: 4 knots

Weather:  Cloudy, Force 4

Blog report

3 February 2012


Greetings from the deck of the Corwith Cramer! It is Friday, February 3rd here and the Spring 2012 class (S12) has officially been sailing in the Florida Straits for over 48 hours! S12 has logged about 200 miles at sea thus far. It is a breezy and fairly cloudy day with a temperature of 26 degrees Celsius. We are currently sailing 4-5 knots with the staysails set.

The students are quickly acclimating to life at sea and are routinely waking up for watch at 1900 in the evening or 0300 in the morning. Those on deck watch are responsible for keeping the ship sailing smoothly, which involves hauling on lines to set sails, plotting our course, steering the helm, and making sure the ship is in tip-top shape every hour, on the hour. During mid watch last night (2300 – 0300 hours), Alex L., Carly, Bianca, and Lara gybed twice with their watch officers, which means they brought the stern of the ship into the wind to change direction. They also brought the main sail down, the largest sail on the ship, which they set earlier that morning during their previous watch.

While the students are divided into 3 watches and are therefore up and roaming about the deck at different hours, they all come together for class (on the quarterdeck!) at 1430 each day. The students participated in their first class session together yesterday afternoon, where Professor and Chief Scientist Lisa Gilbert led a history and science class on Ben Franklin’s discovery of the Gulf Stream and our Captain Tom “Sully” Sullivan introduced us to sail theory. Starting this afternoon, students that stand dawn watch (0300-0700 hours) will also be reporting to the S12 class on their scientific discoveries in the wee hours of the morning.

That’s all for now-check back and visit soon to hear about our next adventures!

Zoe, Nicole, Connor, and Alex S. on morning science watch!

The Offshore Adventure Begins for Spring 2012

Position: 24 21.9’N x 083 18.6’W

Heading: 306 degrees T

Speed: 7.6 knts

Weather: NE Force 4

Blog report

2 February 2012

11:05 am

Hello from the Corwith Cramer!  The Williams-Mystic Spring ’12 class is currently southwest of Key West and we have logged 101.6 miles at sea thus far. It is sunny, with few clouds and 27.5 degrees Celsius. We are sailing at a speed of 4.6 knots with the main and squares set, and grateful for 15 knot winds from the southeast.

The past 12 hours have been busy. The students assigned to deck watch have kept us sailing along smoothly and the students in the science lab have been busy collecting data.  At midnight the students of A watch in the science lab- Omer, Taylor, Karen, and Emanuel – deployed the neuston net. The net was pulled through the surface waters for half an hour, sparkling with bioluminescence.

B watch relieved A watch at 0300. The students in lab during this watch were Connor, Nicole, Meg and Ariel. They sorted through the midnight sample collected by A watch. Some exciting organisms found in the sample were Vellela vellela (a jelly-like surface animal), a pteropod (type of pelagic snail), euphausids (a type of shrimp), small larval fish, and sargassum seaweed.

Right now C watch is on duty and Bianca, Lara and Carly are working in the science lab. They have been conducting hourly water sampling stations (“hourlies”) since their watch started at 0700. Carly tossed a bucket over the side to collect water (of course, with a rope attaching it to the ship so we don’t lose it!). Once the bucket was on deck, Bianca dipped a YSI meter into the bucket and determined that the water is 24.2 degrees C and 36.1 psu (warm and salty!). C watch was punctuated by an excellent mid-morning snack from the stewards-warm blueberry muffins served on the quarterdeck.

Those are only a few of the highlights from the science lab from the past 12 hours. Next time we’ll share more about what the students have been learning as they stand deck watches, keeping the ship sailing smoothly through the night and day as the science watches have been making discoveries about the sea.

– WM Crew

Tat, Sunny, and Monica and the light green waters of Key West Harbor!