It was a dark and stormy night – for the third time in a row

October 19, 2021

Jenna Lilly, 2nd Scientist


Watch crew (Matt, Jenna, Ava, Camilla) deploy the CTD

Ship's Log

Noon Position
37deg 44.2’ N x 061deg 33.9’ W

Ship Heading
140 deg psc

Ship Speed
7 knots

Taffrail Log

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
Sailing on a broad reach starboard tack under storm trysail and staysails, winds westerly BF 6-7, seas mixed 12-15 feet.

Description of location
In the North Sargasso Sea.

Souls on Board

As I write this blog, we are hove to on a port tack, in the midst of a blustery gale with easily 15 ft waves in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean - an experience few people have, but none will easily forget.

Lately I have been reminding myself and the students of the uniqueness of our situation - just a week and a half ago we left the comfort (and stillness) of the dock in Woods Hole, with the students still trying to comprehend all the new language, and the crew eager to be once again at sea. In this short time, these students have truly become salty sailors as we have weathered squalls, frontal passages, and gale force winds.

It is humbling and impressive to see how much they have learned and how they have adjusted to life on the Cramer.

A typical scene below decks in the Main Salon

A typical scene below decks in the Main Salon

And so although we have come to accept aspects of ship life as our new normal, I have tried to remember to pause on occasion and soak in certain moments. Sometimes these moments are feeling the thrill of setting a sail, relishing the beauty of lavender clouds, or sometimes it's when we are trying to clean the galley at night while feeling like we are on some endless rollercoaster.

I like to pause for these absurd, yet splendid moments, because they bring our focus back to the very real present, to being here on this ship, our wooden and steel refuge amidst the swirling waves.

A typical scene on deck when we are not riding out a gale!

A typical scene on deck when we are not riding out a gale!

As someone who works seasonal jobs, every so often I am asked when will I get a "real" job. (I believe that doing authentic, meaningful work outdoors and teaching youth is as real as it gets.) But working in the outdoors or on boats is sometimes seen as running away from the real world, even by those who choose to have these jobs. But the other day while reflecting in my journal, I wondered, by running away from our lives on land and going to sea, is that running away actually a running towards? Running towards the pure, untamed, energetic, natural wildness that is the essence of life on earth - is that not as real as it gets?

-Jenna Lilly, 2nd Scientist

P.S. Hi sister, happy birthday Bethie! ? <3
P.P.S Hello to Jordan's dad and my mom, both big blog fans. Hope you have a great day and enjoy the blog!

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