Lookout Thoughts

April 29, 2021

Daviana Berkowitz-Sklar, B-Watch, Yale University

The sails of the SSV Corwith Cramer at sunset.

The sails of the SSV Corwith Cramer at sunset.

Ship's Log

Noon Position
29° 45.9’ N 78° 26.9’ W

Ship Heading

Ship Speed
6.30 kn

Taffrail Log
1311 nm

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
Sailing on a Starboard Beam Reach under the four lower sails on a course of 85╨ PSC. Wind is coming from the SSE and the visibility is 5-10nm.

Description of location
Southeast Large Marine Protected Area, 134 nm NE of Cape Canaveral

Souls on Board

Today I was on lookout for the first hour of morning watch. Feeling the fast wind on my face as I hold on to the boat is a sure way to wake myself up at 7 am. The front of the Cramer is particularly exciting since the waves are felt more intensely as the bow goes up and down with every swell. The ocean surrounding us is always in constant motion, while the lightly lit sky this morning looked still and peaceful. I looked up at thepale yellows, greens and blues of the sunrise and took my first long deep breath of the day. I felt content.

Ari, and the rest of B-Watch (Martha, Cam, Elisabeth, Ryan, Leanna, Sydney Marie, Carolyn and Jordan) help to deploy the Meter Net in order to collect plankton from beneath the sea surface.

Lookout is an important responsibility. The watchperson is supposed to be the first to spot anything of interest or concern. Lookout is also the perfect time to put on a shameless personal concert. I hope no one heard me sing the Pirates of the Caribbean theme song today.

Finally, lookout is a meditative activity. Random thoughts flow through my mind as I stare out into the ocean with no one to converse with but myself. This morning, I observed how the sun's rays created a path of light across the surface of the ocean. It seemed as though we were following this sunlit course all the way to where the ocean met the horizon.

I looked into the deep grey-blue water and imagined all the tiny creatures that were floating around the surface of the ocean; I couldn't see them, but I knew they were there because we analyze sea surface plankton through a microscope almost every day in lab.

I thought about how small I felt, and how small our ship was, amongst the vastness of the ocean. I remembered something James, one of the scientists, shared about how in Polynesia it is said that the sea connects rather than divides people. I thought of all the people around the world who the Atlantic Ocean connected us with in this very moment.

 Fiona and Ava examine sediment samples from the seafloor!

Fiona and Ava examine sediment samples from the seafloor!

I looked back over my shoulders to take in the sight of the ship that has become our home, and I felt grateful for the wonderful, supportive people I've bonded with over the past few weeks at sea. Looking forward to more adventures, learning, and hard work with my shipmates during the rest of our ocean journey ?

(To my people, Khiara, Dani, Julian, David, Mom, Dad, Eli: miss you guys!)

- Daviana Berkowitz-Sklar, B-Watch, Yale University

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