SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
We are sailing once again. Leaving Bermuda was a bittersweet and strange experience. It is hard to describe the feeling of seeing an entire country fade into the horizon as our ship moved further and further into an ever-encompassing cerulean sea. What seemed like an immense and bustling country suddenly lost its grandeur as it shrunk to non-existence behind us. Out here, everything seems both monumental and minuscule.
My days onboard are more or less the same; at 0600 I get a wakeup for breakfast, which I inevitably ignore until 0700 when the second seating of breakfast is served. I’ll wander around haphazardly until 1000, when the ship goes hove to for morning station. I get my dipnet, my buckets, the saltwater hose and begin staring out at the sea for the next two hours, hoping to catch a glimpse of tiny spots of gold flecked among the vast expanses of blue water.
You have heard about the experiences from all of the students so now I’m going to give you my experience from the perspective of a staff member here aboard the Cramer.
When I told my friends and family that I was going to live on a boat for six weeks back in 2014 they thought I was crazy.
Dear loyal readers,
After almost a week of field trips in Bermuda we are now making our way home. One of the aspects of teaching at SEA Semester that I find most rewarding is the way that we routinely examine the intersections between history, policy, science and exploration, all in an inter-/multi- disciplinary setting. Our time in Bermuda this week was spent investigating how all of these threads come together in this unique part of the world.
After a week in Bermuda, Mama Cramer is back out to sea and we are headed to New York! This morning we had all hands on deck helping to prepare the ship before we left Bermuda. We made quite a mess during the port call, especially with all the dock lines out from yesterday, and it was time to clean, clean, clean! I felt like I was cleaning my house before leaving for vacation; there was sweeping, mopping, and scrubbing, along with coiling, hanging, and furling.
What a beautiful last day in Port! Unfortunately, the ferry to the dockyard was canceled due to gale force winds (Force 8), so we had to improvise for the class field trip. Instead, Mark, gave us a quick walking tour of St. Georges, discussing its history of maritime culture. We learned about Bermuda’s role in trade and got to visit the St George’s museum (a world heritage site).
Although we have only been here for about 5 days now, our routine morning stroll to the courtyard in St. George’s already feels instinctive to me. This morning we started off with a special treat from our amazing steward, Sabrina, …homemade bagels! She never fails to keep us full and happy, which is definitely a priority when your daily schedules are as packed as ours are.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the moments that led to this one. There is nothing like living on a boat for 22 days to make you think about time’s influence on your life. To think about prior moments and decisions that have led to this one. To think about the way that we got to this specific point in time.
Only just getting back to Mama Cramer at 2240 is a bit rough as my bed time is often 2 hours earlier. As I am writing this I am suffering from the satisfying exhaustion one only gets after a long day filled to the brim with great adventure. For me personally the day started off at 6:30 because I was the assistant steward this morning! And since it was our wonderful steward’s (Sabrina) day off I was assigned the task of slicing bananas and bread, as well as taking cereal from the cabinet to the breakfast buffet for all. Exhausting, I know.
Today was eventful to say the least! From touring a fellow academic sailboat, to being reunited with our Ocean Policy professor, there was a lot to do. Furthermore, it was our first full day in Bermuda, and consequently, our first full day off since the beginning of the sea component. Everyone’s day began together with another wonderful breakfast cooked by the lovely Sabrina. We then mustered (all met) on the quarter deck before being set free on the island.