17° 02.7’Nx063° 32.57’W
Ship’s Heading, Speed and Sail Plan
Currently motor sailing under the mainstays’l at a speed of 5 knots, with a heading of 170 (SxE)
The weather has been unexcitingly grey today. The wind has been out of the East for pretty much the entire journey so far (I guess there’s a reason they call it the Easterlies). Small squalls here and there, keeping everyone in sweaty foul weather gear for most of the watch. We are patiently waiting for the advertised blue sky and tropical sun.
Every day on the Cramer is absolutely jam packed with jobs and activities. It is kinda the opposite of being in Woods Hole in that my brain is awake and super eager to take in information but my body says “hey maybe some sleep would be good sometime soon.” This morning we (A watch) had the Dawn Watch (0100- 0700) and, due to my eagerness to be awake and on deck the day before, I was operating on minimal sleep. Despite my grogginess, lessened due to a healthy dose of caffeine, I spent the watch in the magical science lab. We used our “surface sample capture vessel” (bucket) and the “surface sample retrieval unit” (rope) to very scientifically collect a sample of the water around us. Basically we grabbed some sea water and shot light at it to see what it’s made of.
Not only did we do our own experiments, but we processed the data collected by the last watch. We cataloged and sorted, counted and codified every kind of strange looking tiny sea creature you can imagine. There was a metric ton (not really a ton but a lot) of zooplankton to sort through, turns out a lot of sea creatures in the ocean start off as super tiny larvae. Spurred on by encouragement from my lovely watchmates, I made it through until the sun rose in the East. Needless to say I was ready to crawl into my tiny, but surprisingly cozy, bunk.
When I woke up it was journaling time, we were given journals and lots of art supplies so we can paint, sketch and draw to our hearts content. I never really was into drawing that much before this program but I now look forward to sketching or painting something almost every day. At 1430 we had our ships meeting, where all the crew get together for short presentations on the stuff they’ve been doing for the past 24 hours (pretty much show and tell).
Everything came full circle when our chief scientist, the sea-weed-obsessed Dr. Jeff Schell, told us that we have been sailing around the Saba Bank Marine Protected Area and the reason for all the organisms we’ve been hauling in like it was candy on Halloween is because there is restricted fishing on Saba Bank and the organisms there can breed and the fish babies swim out into the surrounding area. Pretty awesome science stuff if you ask me but anyways it’s time for dinner and I have the night watch
(1900-0100) so I best be off.
Mom and Dad I love you. David and James you smell funny. To all my beloved friends reading or following the boat, you are greatly missed and expect an enormous hug upon my return.
- Will Robinson, UCONN
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