Another busy day aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer! The new crew have really taken to their new home and have spent the day diligently learning more about their responsibilities during various emergency scenarios: M.O. B (Man Over Board), Fire and Emergency, and Abandon Ship. But I am getting ahead of myself. The day began with light winds, a beautiful sun rise and a breakfast table full of scramble eggs, roasted potatoes and cups full of coffee or tea. Good thing because today we cast off our dock lines and made our way out to sea, and the learning has been non-stop ever since.
A crowd looks on as Logan examines his sediment sample.
We didn’t go too far this first day, just to a nearby anchorage that removed our community from the distractions and noise of the ferry dock and fishing village of Woods Hole. Tarpaulin Cove is a quiet, protected anchorage with good holding ground (more on this soon). Here we dropped anchor and cycled through another set of training stations: driving the hydrowinch (so we can deploy scientific equipment), learning to handle, coil, and make fast lines under strain, and discussions of the Watch Quarter Station Bill – student roles during the emergency scenarios mentioned above.
Upon completing this training we conducted three safety drills and discuss how the entire ship’s company works together to keep the ship and our shipmates safe. There was one last task to complete and we were ready to really set sail….conduct our first scientific deployment! Remember the good holding ground I mentioned earlier, well we just wanted to be sure what the seafloor looked like so C Watch had the coveted job of deploying our shipek grab to collect a sample. There was some debate among the students about what we would find, all good ideas supported by well-reasoned hypotheses. In the end, those that ‘guessed’ we would find ‘muck’ at the bottom (i.e. fine silts and clays) took the day. But nobody was prepared for the abundance of polychaete worm tubes that came up with sediment. Why that is, well that is discussion for later tonight.
Presently, C Watch has the deck and getting the Corwith Cramer ready to set sail for the night. What will we discover upon the high seas is anybody’s guess, so stay tuned and find out!
Jeff, Chief Scientist
PS: Best wishes to family and friends and sweet dreams to my darling rose.
Editor's Note: In response to the coronavirus pandemic, all SEA Semester students, faculty, and crew aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer boarded the ship after strictly isolating on our Woods Hole campus for a minimum of two weeks, and after repeated negative tests for COVID-19. To ensure the health and safety of those onboard, the ship will not conduct any port stops and will remain in coastal waters so that any unlikely medical situations may be resolved quickly.