The Shroud of Darkness and the Shrouds Aloft

August 14, 2023

A Watch

Chief Steward Valentine, Deckhand Lucy, and Lily sweating the course brace

Ship's Log

Noon Position
41deg 26.5621'N x 069deg 59.7757'W

Ship Heading
195 degrees

Ship Speed 
4.2 knots

399.7 nm

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
Jib, Mainsail, Main staysail, Forestaysail

Description of location
Off the coast of Nantucket

All blogs from C-308H

At around 1845 on the night of August 13 A-watch finished dinner and headed up to the deck with the expectation of finding the calm water and little bit of the fog that we had been experiencing before going below deck for dinner. However, when we arrived on deck, we discovered very different conditions. The fog was thick and the wind was howling through our ears as we stepped out of the charthouse. At that time we were sailing under the four lowers (Jib, Mains'l, Mainstays'l, and Forestays'l). The wind whipped our hair and the bellow of the fog horn--which had just been turned on in response to descended layers of thick fog--filled the air. To give you a sense of the-hooooooooonk--way it split-hoooooonk--our conversations-hooonk--we will add a fog horn into our blog every now and then.

As we came on to watch, the wind continued to build. With the sea foaming and our ship heeling, we struck the Jib and the Mains'l in order to gain control over our heel. Clipping into the head-rig (the net under the bowsprit) to help furl the jib as the waves sprayed us from below was one of the most thrilling experiences of the night. In a stunning act of heroism, A-watch-hooooooooonk-took down the mains'l-hoooooonk--without-hooonk- any other assistance. Galley clean-up was slightly sickening for those prone to sea-sickness as the rolling swells rocked the boat vehemently. However, as the night progressed, the winds calmed and the fog cleared, exposing the full glory of the starry sky and the fleeting beauty of its falling stars. We headed to bed after a final setting of the mains'l and the view of crimson lightning on the horizon.

After a long night's sleep, A-watch awoke to a lunch of homemade pupusas and pineapple. A-Watch took the deck as the Cramer approached her anchorage just off of Nantucket. Then it was time for our quotidian 1430 all-hands-on-deck class during which we were given time to work on our oceanographic projects that we will be presenting tomorrow. Our project covers zooplankton, which -hoooooooooooonk-- we have-hoooooonk-- been collecting and analyzing -hooonk- in our Neuston net. In the evening, those who sought the thrill had the opportunity to go aloft. The climb was intimidating, but the view from above was absolutely stunning. With the sun streaming across the water as it set, and the sight of Jeff taking candids from the bow, it was an unforgettable experience. However, the real photographer was Kaman! We will be thanking her for years to come for documenting this once-in-a-lifetime experience. We cannot forget our amazing dinner of -hoooooooonk-- pizza bagels and -hooonk-- mac-n-cheese with -hooonk- buffalo chicken wings. We ended the night with a muster at sunset, where the "Swizzle", a cliff hanger for another day, was introduced. Obvious-slay, we slayed the day away.

Sincerely,Sl(A)y Watch

Adrian, Liam, Mary, Maddy, and Leo prepare to go aloft for one of the best views of the trip (photo taken by Kaman)

The beautiful Corwith Cramer at sunset

Oceanography project preparations for A Watch (Maddy, Leo, Mary and Adrian)

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