SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
13.2nm SW of Les Saintes
Ship’s Heading & Speed
280 psc; 4.4kts
Stay’sl’s and Main’sl
Squally and Variable
Three days in port, now once again the crew of the SSV Corwith Cramer is taking turns standing watch on deck as we sail our ship towards the French Exclusive Economic Zone off Guadeloupe. The port stop in Dominica was rich in many ways. The locals opened up to the students allowing them to acquire valuable information for their projects and gain unique insight into the lives, economy and culture of this Eastern Caribbean nation.
This morning allowed a few hours of shore leave, so some students went ashore to stretch their legs one last time, and others chose to stay aboard, like Amina and Perla to wash their clothes in buckets by hand. Throughout the morning we had Westerly winds, a deviation from the standard Trade Winds that tend to dominate the weather pattern here. A frontal passage of cold air and squalls was bound to pass over us soon. Sure enough, while snug up tight on our anchor, the winds picked up to 31kts brining 5-6' waves into the harbor. Capt. Nolan kept a weather eye standing in the pelting rain on the quarterdeck while those aboard battened down hatches and cleared the deck of any gear adrift. In a short time the squall passed, but the steep waves remained in the harbor, damaging the town dock we used to get people from the shore to the ship.
By the time everyone was back aboard the crew took the opportunity to stow loose gear and hang up went laundry to dry in the sun that was now peeking thru the grey sky. At 1600 we started the main engine (a.k.a. the D-Sail, get it? Diesel, as in diesel engine), hove anchor and began to steam away from the green island of Dominica, towards Guadeloupe. Some lingering squalls dancing around the ship brought with them shifting winds from the West to North, which made sailing a difficult option, so we steamed on until 2030 when conditions became more favorable, and secured the engine, and set the main'sl and jib. The ship is quiet without the low hum of the engine turning below deck, and we enjoy the soft rolling as our ship sails silently through the night.