The chain of the anchor creaked, grinding to a halt. The concerned C watch crew peered over the bow of the Cramer, spotting an ancient ghost trap entangled in the anchor. C watch leapt into action; Lucy and Jeremy boarded the rescue boat and hauled the rusty, mussel encrusted anchor above the surface of the water. Teeming with lobsters, algae, and other sea creatures they got a glimpse of the vast life found underneath the seemingly lifeless waves. After untangling the ghost trap from the anchor, we were ready to go underway again and the two reunited with the ship. Once the ship was underway, we were sure to inform every lookout of the need to avoid any and all fishing buoys, like playing minesweeper on the ocean. We had our first experience with the lookout bell; one ring means an obstacle to the port side, two rings means something on the starboard side, and three rings means danger dead ahead. This system is very useful for relaying information to the person on the helm when there is not enough time to run back to communicate. For the first time, students were placed at the helm, learning how the ship reacts to every movement. We even managed two full tacks, which are much more difficult to execute than gybes due to the passing of the bow through the wind and the brief foray into irons. During these maneuvers, we had all B Watch hands on deck, hauling, easing, and fastening lines under the watchful command of our scientist Nick, deckhand Hillary, and watch officer Liam.
Midway through our watch, a ship's meeting was called. Heading to the quarterdeck we discovered a pile of whiteboards awaiting a watchful audience. Crew members took the lead, presenting their creative weather, science, and navigation reports to relay important information. One interesting part of this gathering was learning of common sea superstitions. For instance, no sailor is allowed to whistle besides the youngest male member of the ship's company and the ship's steward, as this means they are not eating all of the food. However, we later discovered that neither Valentine, the head steward, nor Soog, the youngest male, are able to whistle.
When we returned to watch, we were greeted with delightful sun and the wind finally picking up. Soon after, familiarization of the science equipment began. All of B Watch was trained on the hydrowinch, made up of heavy machinery and nearly 3,000 meters of wire. Three jobs are needed to lower scientific equipment using this winch, including the dancers preventing the equipment from colliding with the hull, the wire handler controlling the speed and direction of the winch itself, and the J-frame operator lowering a crane-like structure off the ship. Once every person had tried each role, we remained at our stations until a delightful dinner of cornbread, barbeque chicken, coleslaw, and beans was served. Finally, we climbed the stairs to the deck, where we discovered a sunset unlike anything we'd ever seen before.
A great day by all measures!
B(est) Watch (Amy, Isabella, Alice, Piper, Jerry, Soog, Aiden, and Mason)