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Sea Education Association | SEA Currents

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer


Nov

03

Nautical Idioms

Jennifer, Maya, and Courtney, B Watch, A Watch, A Watch / Kenyon, Redlands, Sewanee
The Global Ocean

C-255 students haul on the halyard to raise the mainsail.

Position
31° 54’ 21.60” N x 16° 20’ 36.00” W

Location
Leaving the port of Canical, Madeira

Hello, world!
Today, we sailed out of Madeira at 1300. It was the last time we got to leave port and set out to sea together, and it was incredible to see how far we have come as sailors since Barcelona. All three watches came together as the crew of the SSV Corwith Cramer. In excellent time, we hoisted the main staysail, the fore staysail, the jib, the topsail, and the mainsail. Students hauled on the lines, manned the sheets, and actually directed the operations with called out commands. Maya and I asked Courtney to write a poem about the moment, and you can read his beautiful ballad below.

We have also been collecting a lot of nautical idioms: living on a boat and using nautical terms as part of everyday life has thrown into relief the many maritime terms that have become integrated into the English language. You may not realize it, but you speak like a sailor every day! As we stepped onto the ship, we were handed diagrams of the lines for different sails in order to Learn the Ropes. Since we were All in the Same Boat, It was easy to help each other with the memorization. With teamwork, we knew it would all turn out okay (French. Au quay = on the dock). As we began our sea watches, we always Kept a Lookout on the bow. We rely on the Mainstay to hold up the main mast. As part of keeping the deck tidy, we learned to coil the ropes down ‘Till the Bitter End. When sailing along the coast, it is important to Give a Little Leeway since the ship will slip to the lee while moving forward. Once in a pretty rainy squall, we Battened Down the Hatches. When dealing with sea traffic, it is important to Get Your Bearings. With so much homework, we are about ready to Jump Ship, but we know before too long the Cramer will be High and Dry again, and so we’ll keep her keel engaged (rather than Keeled Over) and sail onward. 

As our great ship put out to sea
We set our sails on high
With leadership from students
To sail out full and by

We hauled down on the halyards
We sheeted out the main
We squared around yards course and top
And we sailed out on the Main

With hands in general quarters
Now sailors one and all
We rushed to lines with confidence
And “ready” each did call

The word was given and overhead
The sails flashed out in white
While we handed reefed and steered
In that bright morning light

And as Madeira faded ’ way
The crew let out a sigh
Though no one said it we all knew
The end was drawing nigh

Although it seems just yesterday
That we met up with her
Soon Mother Cramer to another crew
Her lessons will confer

And though our company may break
When in port we arrive
There’s no force that can separate
The class C Two-Five-Five

Courtney Moore, 2014
SSV Corwith Cramer


Still out upon the waves,
Jennifer, Maya, and Courtney

Categories: Corwith Cramer,The Global Ocean: Europe, • Topics: c255  sailing • (1) Comments
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Comments

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