A Whaley Good Day

October 20, 2020

Lucia Snyderman, A Watch Middlebury College

Listening to whales with the hydrophone

Listening to whales with the hydrophone

Ship's Log

Present Location
42° 00.652’N x 070° 07.422’W

Ship’s Heading, Speed and sail plan
We are currently anchored outside of Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod and will be getting underway tomorrow.

Light and variable wind, very cloudy skies, fog has rolled in.

Souls on Board

All blogs from C-294

Today was my favorite day so far on the SSV Corwith Cramer! I was woken up at 5:30 to start my day as steward. I cooked and baked a lot of yummy things (with help from Adam and Katey). First, we made granola for breakfast. Then, we made devilled eggs for morning snack (I chose to do this because of my friend Deana back home and her scrumptious devilled eggs that I miss terribly).

For lunch, we had leftovers, and so that gave us more time to bake! We baked cinnamon buns with a caramel glaze and cream cheese frosting for afternoon snack, chocolate chip banana bread, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (it’s my Dad’s favorite), cornbread, and peach crisp. For dinner, we made pizza! My favorites of the pizzas had barbeque sauce & pineapple and ricotta & anchovies. I was surprised at how efficient we were as a team of 3 and I learned a lot. It was also nice to get a break from 6 hour watch for a day.

Navigation Report

Navigation Report

As if my day wasn’t already good enough, it got even better! We sailed through the Cape Cod Canal, which was pretty but it felt weird to be so close to land, and when we left it and entered the open ocean and completely lost sight of land, we spotted whales!!! I could feel tears springing to my eyes as I hung over the starboard side of the bow to watch their spouts of water erupting from the surface.

Whale fluke

Whale fluke

Then I saw their black bodies rise out of the surface as well, and saw one whale dive back down into the depths. I think they were humpbacks but because of the way they were facing, I wasn’t able to tell if they had fluke patterns or not. There were a total of 4 whales and they traveled to the port side where I listened to their calls over the hydrophone. I had heard recorded whale calls before, but now I was actually hearing the whales I could see in front of me. I can’t even find the words to explain it. Magical. Unreal. I think I’ve captured my feelings and experiences today in the following poem I wrote:

Creatures of the Deep

the cape cod canal was narrow
land so close i could jump
off the headrig, pull myself
up to earth where fishermen stand

but i didn’t jump
and crossed under a bridge
or two, and left the fishermen

the wind carried me out to sea
as well as a few landbirds
who had never seen so much blue before

i thought i was lost too

until a spout interrupted this still blue world
and washed away yearnings for land

a curved black body, the color of a starless sky
breached and dove, fluke
waving, welcoming me

the birds knew it too
quit their flapping, settled on deck
and watched, in awe,
the creatures of the deep

- Lucia Snyderman, rising sophomore at Middlebury College

PS: Mom, Dad, Nonna, and Luna – I miss you all a ton and think about you every day. It is definitely hard going this long being out of touch. It just means we’ll have so much to catch up on when I come home! I’m really happy to be here and be learning a lot of new things that push me out of my comfort zone. Please take the best care of Luna for me. Molly – I miss you and Luca so much! Today we chummed for sharks and I thought of you! Unfortunately we didn’t find any, but I’ll still keep a look out. Zia Anna – I miss you a lot but it is comforting knowing that you are only across the ocean and are awake when I’m on dawn watch! Christina – I thought of you today since I baked so many yummy things and can’t wait to bake with you more when we’re both back in Pittsburgh! Hope you’re well and miss you! Anne – I miss you and hope you’re having a great semester at Midd. I can’t wait to catch up once I have service (haha). I love you all and hope you aren’t missing me too much!

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