Two Things That Fly: Fish and Time

April 30, 2021

Isabelle Stewart, C-Watch, Gettysburg College

Natalie, Izzy and Alex observe a pod of dolphins off the port bow

Natalie, Izzy and Alex observe a pod of dolphins off the port bow

Ship's Log

Noon Position
30°10.7’ N 076° 48.3’ W

Ship Heading

Ship Speed
5 knots

Taffrail Log
1386 nm

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
Sailing under the four lowers and the tops’l on a port tack, single reef main on a beam reach.

Description of location
250 NxE nm from Jacksonville, FL

Souls on Board

Three weeks left on this tall ship
What a journey, what a trip
I swing right out of my top bunk
Lab critters smell like quite the funk
The engine room is much too hot
How do I tie a bowline knot?

Yay, the tops'l is set at last
But have we made all the lines fast?
Drop the line, yes that's well
Someone note, how big's the swell?
What's for dinner, it sure smells good
I'd eat it now, if I could

Last night, again, was like the rest
C-Watch is, of course, the best
Up on deck, we see cool stuff
Sheet them in, if the sails luff
A flying fish, it leapt up high
Struck Sydney Marie on her thigh

To change it up, I wrote this poem
The blog, I mean, for you folks at home
The rhyme scheme here is A A B B
In this here verse, my poem at sea
But now, alas my time has come
This poem is set, just like the sun

Written by Will Lounsbery-Scaife (Steward) and Isabelle Stewart

Life comes at you fast here on the Corwith Cramer. There is always something different about each day: when my watch is, the state of the sea, what we collect in the neuston tow, or what will be for dinner are just a few examples. However, last night felt like a pretty typical evening. I was wrapped in conversation with my shipmates, pausing every few minutes to do push-ups with Emma as we desperately try to catch up to the number of nautical miles we've traveled, all activity on the quarterdeck was abruptly interrupted by a large thud.

Class on the quarterdeck.

Class on the quarterdeck.

At first, I thought it was some spray from the waves, but the yelps of surprise made me realize my first assumption was severely incorrect. It was a flying fish. On the deck. That had come from water off our port side, crossed over the top of the charthouse and landed right on the unsuspecting toes of Sydney Marie, who was standing on the starboard quarterdeck. We all took a few moments to take stock in what had just happened, and then just as fast as it had arrived, the fish was back in the water and we resumed our previous activities.

This is just how life is on the Cramer. There's no way to know what's going to happen in a day. One minute we're furling the jib as the bow bounces up and down, and the next we're looking over at a pod of 15+ dolphins. In between that, who knows! Even class is different every day. Today we wrote poems about the Beaufort scale (hence the inspiration for the poem to begin this blog?) and yesterday we learned about arrow worms and crab larvae.

There's never a lack of interesting things to learn from our mates, scientists or our peers. As we continue to learn in our second phase of the sea component, the shadow phase, it's easy to see how far we have to go. There is still so much to learn, and yet it's hard to believe how far we've come from where we were back on the dock at USF. There's no way to predict how our next few weeks will go, but I am most certainly excited to see.

To Mom and Daniel: I miss and love you so much!! I am in awe every day of how incredible this experience has been so far. Also, the SpaceX Rocket went right over us a few nights ago (I, unfortunately, was fast asleep, even after Ariana's diligent efforts to wake me up)! To my friends and family: Love and miss y'all lots too!!

- Isabelle Stewart, C-Watch, Gettysburg College

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