SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. We got to work a lot on sail handling, and on learning the names and locations of things in general. We started by putting the main’sl up and all the lines associated with this: the halyard, the downhaul, and the sheet. It’s very fun for me to see the different sail plans and names for things as I am a collegiate and much smaller boat sailor. My arms are a little tired today as there are no self-tailing winches or blocks with cleats, and the traveler takes at least three people to operate.
Today began at 0600 hours with a breakfast call for the majority of the SSV Corwith Cramer crew. However, a few unfortunate victims remained sleeping due to the placid San Juan Harbor, now a distant oasis. Breakfast consisted of waffles, eggs, bacon, vegan options for our animal lovers and a bucket full of Nutella that Bex had bewittingly hidden from us the day before. Following breakfast we received instructions for our Daily Cleanup (DC). The Corwith Cramer is decked out with environmentally friendly products, and swiffer sweepers named after pirates that we use to keep the soles, heads and showers in tip top shape.
Welcome to the SEA Miami of Ohio program. I’m happy to report that, after an arduous day of air travel yesterday, all 16 Miami of Ohio participants (14 students, their professor Rachael Morgan-Kiss, and TA Shasten Sherwell) all boarded the Corwith Cramer in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico at 1100 this morning. After a quick muster on the quarterdeck for introductions, we transited the ship to a nearby anchorage in San Juan Harbor, blissfully leaving hordes of noisy passing cruise ship tourists behind.
A group of 14 invited colleagues from colleges and universities around the country arrived at the Corwith Cramer early this morning, and quickly stowed their gear in their bunks before mustering on the quarterdeck at 1000. Introductions of both the professional staff and the colleague participants followed, along with discussion of our general plan for the voyage. The colleagues, who are working members of the ship’s crew for the next five days, were assigned to their three watches. They held initial watch meetings and then rotated through orientation to hydrowire deployments and to sail handling.
The evening air is drenched in sweet tunes pouring from the lips and fingers of our talented crew as students and staff alike swing about the science deck, yet again, entrenched in a jovial contra dance. The dancing and giggling is only briefly and occasionally interrupted by the dregs of a hilariously long game of “mafia” and for short sips of secret recipe swizzle juice and cookies.
This story is inspired by a journal entry by a spatula… A.K.A Mr. Spatchy
I woke up in the morning with a big smile in my face, thinking of all the hard work to come. I started cleaning what I heard was called Puerto Rican scrambled eggs with coconut bread that smelled really good from the Galley cavern. It was pretty interesting looking from upside down at two giants that were having fun mixing and crafting in their magic caldera a wonderful treat that I had to eventually clean.
It’s the assistant steward here! (for those of you who don’t know, every day a new student gets to assist our steward/goddess Morgan in the galley, so technically the assistant steward could be anyone….anyways, it’s Kayla talking to you right now) I’m sitting in the main saloon watching everyone enjoy the pest-faux pasta Morgan and I just whipped up. You’re probably thinking “what’s this pest-faux pasta?
Three days left. Just three days to absorb every last drop we can squeeze out of this incredible, inspiring, life-altering journey. I want to remember it all, afraid to blink, not wanting to let a single moment pass. After speaking with my family during our time in Dominica, I found it difficult to put into words all that I have experienced over the last five weeks. “What was your favorite thing on the boat?” they asked.
We are once again together and underway after spending three days anchored in Prince Rupert Bay, Dominica. Each watch had two days on land to explore the island and one day working on the ship to give Mama Cramer some well-deserved love.
This morning, the taste of Ting (a local grapefruit soda - think Squirt but so much better) still tickling my taste buds, we jumped right back into watch rotations, “rotating home” or back to our original watch officers for our last three days underway.
Dominica was great! We had so much fun touring the island, cities, and rainforests! Of our two days ashore, one was spent exploring on our own, and the other was spent on the planned excursion. The individuals of A Watch traveled far and wide on Dominica: from Roseau to Portsmouth, Cabrits to Toucarie Bay, and even the north shore. We swam in a gorgeous waterfall, hiked a nature trail, and forged our way into a freshwater swimming hole.