SEA Expedition






SEA Expedition

SEA Expedition is a two-week offshore summer program for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors, as well as recent high school graduates.

Immersed into the daily life of SEA’s SSV Corwith Cramer, SEA Expedition provides students the opportunity to participate in every aspect of a challenging offshore sailing and oceanographic expedition. While sailing around the nearshore and offshore waters of Cape Cod and New England, students will gain skills navigations and sail handling while also conducting scientific deployments. Past SEA Expedition voyages have explored Cape Cod Bay, Stellwagon Bank National Marine Sanctuary, the Gulf of Maine, and George’s Bank (at the edge of the continental shelf).

Summer 2024: WAITLIST ONLY

Session 1: June 29 – July 10, 2024
Cruise track: Woods Hole, MA to Woods Hole, MA

Session 2: July 14 – July 25, 2024
Cruise track: Woods Hole, MA to Woods Hole, MA

Session 3: July 31 – August 11, 2024
Cruise track: Woods Hole, MA to Woods Hole, MA

Session 4: August 15 – August 26, 2024
Cruise track: Woods Hole, MA to Boston, MA

Program cost: $5,950

Field-Based Research

SEA Expedition provides students with a unique opportunity to conduct marine research at sea. SEA’s scientific voyages focus on the offshore environments near Cape Cod, MA, including important habitats for rare and endangered – whales, turtles, seabirds – along with countless other marine organisms.

Data collected by SEA Expedition students contribute to a cumulative data set that provides critical annual monitoring of these marine protected areas for key stakeholders. These data include biodiversity information, sea temperature and salinity, chemical nutrient measurements, sediment samples, visual and acoustic recording of whales and vessel traffic, and more. Scientific studies are given human background context with discussions of the history and policies behind the marine protected areas we visit. Students return home with a broader sense of the ocean’s importance to our planet and the need to preserve this precious resource for future generations.

Sail Training & Seamanship

Central to the SEA experience is the challenge of forming a team to operate a sailing ship at sea. This is accomplished through the sail training and seamanship components of SEA Expedition.

Teamwork, leadership, community, and a sense of shared mission are core values of all SEA programs, and having students take responsibility for and participate in all operations of a modern sailing research vessel cultivate these life skills.

The captain and USCG licensed mates use instruction in navigation, sail handling and watch leadership to explore communication, thoughtful participation, and a planned approach to tasks – all essential in school, the workplace, and in learning to deal successfully with dynamics or unplanned events. SEA Expedition participants grow not only as students, but as individuals and contributing members of a ship’s company.

This in turn fosters a deeper understanding of their own potential and ability to influence our world.


Life at Sea

Under the supervision and guidance of SEA’s professional scientists and crew, students are immersed into life at sea.

The ship’s activities operate 24-hours, and each student is expected to participate fully. Onboard students are assigned to a watch reporting to a mate and assistant scientist that will oversee their time on watch. While on watch (6 hours), that watch group is responsible for sail handling, lab activities, science deployments, navigation, and more.  During a watch group’s 12 hours off, students utilize that time to catch up on sleep, meals, read, journal, or look for megafauna! Summer in New England is perfect for catching sight of humpback whales, fin whales, dolphins, or sharks.

No prior sailing experience is necessary, the desire to learn is required!

Sample Watch Rotation

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
0100-0700 A Watch B Watch C Watch
0700-1300 B Watch C Watch A Watch
1300-1900 C Watch A Watch B Watch
1900-0100 A Watch B Watch C Watch

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