by Lucy Gilliam
While in Bermuda the Irene was moored next a beautiful tall ship called The Corwith Cramer. The Corwith Cramer is owned by the Sea Education Trust which delivers 12 week university level marine education courses. As it was Irene’s birthday while in Port we invited the crew of the Corwith Cramer over for some birthday drinks and a tour of the ship.
I got chatting to scientist and deckhand Greg about life at sea. Greg is studying for a Phd in Marine Microbial Ecology on board as well as supervising students on board with their research projects and teaching sailing. One of my first questions was about the labs on board. I was stunned to learn that they had a microbial lab, microscopes and equipment for DNA analysis (including a PCR machine which is used to amplify DNA for profiling) along with a host of equipment for sampling marine environments like neuston nets and realtime surface water monitoring.
I was also keen to see the galley which was a large square room mid ships decked out with stainless steel worktops, an 8 ring gas hob and a large provisions store underneath. They had a large fridge and freezer which resembled morgue cabinet freezers.
Each person aboard has their own private bunk. The trainee bunks line the sides of the saloon. And the officers and scientists share 2 berth cabins.
A great fact about the Corwith Cramer is that she has a female Captain and a gender balanced permanent crew. Apparently the Trust realised very early on that to provide a safe and conducive learning environment presence of female officers was key.