Our crew awoke this morning to find Valentine’s wishes from the mouths of their favorite zooplankton, transcribed and delivered by last night’s A Watch science team. Notes which had been scribbled in the downtime found in a busy watch filled with data processing, galley cleanup, and midnight deployments. The day started off with excitement as we hauled in the Neuston net at 0005 to find a clump of Sargassum, a juvenile banded rudder fish, and the promise of many things slimy and invisible to the eye to come in the 100 count of plankton observations. Sleeping off that watch this morning, it’s nice to know that C and B watch were hard at work keeping us all on track and getting some science done on the way. Myself, I was happy to wake up at a luxurious 1030 to smoothie bowls and nectarines for morning snack.
Greta and Anna give the science report as Craig helpfully lies on top of the doghouse to hold up the whiteboard
During class this afternoon we heard from B Watch with a science report about the results of that midnight Neuston Tow and a navigation report reminding us all of what our course so far looks like and looking ahead at the weather forecast. We then had class with Captain Alison Taylor discussing weather patterns and squall formation in the tropics followed by an all hands poetry exercise, incorporating sea state descriptions from the Beaufort Wind Scale into our own poetry. We had time to hear a poem from Jessie about her first few days here on the Cramer before one of those very squalls decided to show up and rain us out.
Jessie reads her poem moments before the rain lets loose.
As A watch resumed post class, it was a rainy rest of our afternoon as we passed in and out of a number of squalls, making headway to the East past St. Thomas and the Virgin Islands tacking back and forth into the trade winds. As we passed close to St. Thomas Harbor, we kept an eye out for anything from incoming container ships to fishing gear. We also kept a look out for some opportunistic observations of Sargassum (clumps and windrows throughout the afternoon), sea birds, and one rainbow over the island of St. Thomas. At the end of our watch the British Virgin Islands (home to our very own A watcher, Ela Keegan) had come into view as we turned over to B watch and went below for our eagerly awaited dinner.
- James Parker
PS: Belated birthday wishes from earlier this week to Tolia Vassiliev and Tyler Parker.