SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
Reflections on a Journey
29° 46.3’N x 15° 24.1’W
Wind E F2
Sailing on a port tack under the four lowers and the fish (!!)
Throughout this journey my brain has been a constant filter of questions I am continually asking myself. “Why am I doing this?” “How am I going to figure this out?” “How am I going to react to this?” “Where in the world is the forestays’l jigger?” Most of them remain answer-less (don’t worry, I’ve figured that last one out), but I have still managed to gain an immeasurable amount of self awareness by consistently asking myself these types of questions. However, as the voyage draws to a close and we prepare for our arrival in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, in just over a day, I am attempting to step back from the constant self-challenging questions and deep personal discovery to simply appreciate what we’re doing out here.
I do not mean to trivialize or glamourize this experience. Yes, the phrase “sailing a tall ship through the Western Mediterranean and Eastern North Atlantic” does not exactly scream “my life is hard”. But, I’m going to be real here and say yes, this is really hard. In my six weeks at sea I have been faced with more physical, mental, emotional, and academic challenges than I can say for the majority of my college experience, let alone my life. I have been stretched in all of these arenas making it impossible to not spend a considerable amount of time trying to analyze the experience and uncover the takeaways. But in these last few days, I do not want to phase out the simple pleasures of this adventure in order to reach some sort of heightened level of self awareness. I want to look around and take in what we’re seeing and doing out here and simply enjoy it.
The list of incredible moments I have participated in or witnessed on the Cramer are endless. During this last leg of sailing from Madeira to Las Palmas I have tried to gather every extraordinary moment so that I have a collection of irreplaceable memories to look back on. When I am at the helm, it is a pretty cool feeling to look out ahead at the bow of the ship piercing through the open ocean and consider the fact that this has been our entire world for six weeks now. When I am on bow watch I look up and
can bank on the fact that I will likely see at least six breathtaking shooting stars over the course of the hour. Earlier tonight I was at the helm as other C-Watchers chatted nearby and some members of the crew played the guitar, the fiddle, and sang Wagon Wheel and Sweet Home Alabama on the starboard deck boxes. Pretty amazing, right?
This trip was by no means a walk in the park, a breath of fresh air, a piece of cake, or any other colloquialism suggesting ease and relaxation. It was a true challenge and a
spectacular learning experience. But it was also, to put it plainly, so cool. I will miss seeing the sunrise and sunset every day, I will miss climbing aloft and looking out at the vast expanse of the sea, I will miss the camaraderie of the crew, I will miss the warm feeling of accomplishment every time we figure something out together as a watch. None of these moments can be recreated nor played on repeat, as much as I wish they could. But that does not mean that they are not appreciated. Here’s to an
unforgettable study abroad experience!