We have had an exciting last couple of days here on Cramer! On Sunday we began our journey back north and tomorrow marks two more weeks at sea. We have been lucky with weather the past few days as it’s been sunny, warm and not too rocky. However, our movement north and an imminent cold front mean wavier seas and likely some chillier weather. We’re all taking advantage of the warm while it lasts! I am certainly happy to headed back to everything I am missing, but knowing that this once in a lifetime experience will be coming to a close soon is sad all the same. There is comfort in the seclusion and routine of life aboard a tall ship.
However, I have found that when your view is consistently the open ocean (maybe a passing ship, if you’re lucky), it can feel like you’re begging for something new to happen. It was really exciting to do aloft training yesterday, as that was something new that we have all been looking forward to. For those that don’t know, going aloft means strapping on your heavy duty harness and climbing up towards the top of the masts. C watch got to go aloft on Monday, A watch on Tuesday and B watch today! It was so amazing to get the opportunity to see the ship from a different angle and feel so tall (even though we were only about half way up the fore mast).
We have also had great luck with marine sightings! Yesterday, we saw two pods of dolphins! Both times they came up towards the bow of the ship and played around for a bit before moving on, which was incredible to see. They were a cool addition to the occasional bird or crab we find in the Sargassum bucket.
Nearing the end of our trip also means that we will be entering a new phase of duties, where students will be taking the lead more. Determining watch roles and taking charge of science deployments will be some of our responsibilities, as well as making decisions about sail orders on our own. I, for one, am nervous about taking charge, but I am comforted knowing my mate and scientist will always be there to keep us safe and answer questions I might have (there will be a lot I’m sure).
In other news, I have dawn watch tonight (brutal) so I have to eat dinner and get some sleep but before I go I want to say a MASSIVE happy birthday to my dad! I hope your day was amazing, I love you! To 101 East St: Wishing there was a stackers on this boat √ pitchers on me when I’m back.
To everyone at home: this is my last blog post so next time you hear from me, I’ll be back on land! Can’t wait to see you all!
- Marin Allen, A Watch, University of Massachusetts Amherst