SEA Currents: caribbean.
A Good Swim and a New Phase
Hello from the Corwith Cramer! We are well and busy here – let me catch you up on the last couple of days aboard the ship.
Only a short time after our excellent port stop in Santiago, we reached a quiet, peaceful island called Great Inagua on the southern side of the Bahamas. Rather than the white sand and coral rubble it is made of, the cool waters surrounding the island is where we spent most of our short stop.
Where the Wind Takes You
Going where the wind takes you took on new meaning this week. 15-20 ft swells aided by force 9 winds made docking in Port Antonio more difficult than docking with the ISS. Captain cited something about trajectories, momentum and wind making entering the harbor too dangerous. I wasn’t about to argue as I clung to the railing and looked up at waves.
Sharing Ocean Knowledge
Hello internet world, family, and friends!
It is day 16 of our trip and it has been a rollercoaster of a time! Today is our last day anchored in Samana Bay, DR and also the official start of Phase II for the student crew. Phase II is when students are given more responsibility in lab and on deck during watches. Out watch leaders will start taking small steps back and show us how they make decisions and why those decisions are necessary.
I am not going to lie when I say that I don’t know where to begin with this post. So much has happened on the Cramer and at port stops that it is difficult to focus on something super memorable. So I’m just going to write about my initial impressions about being at sea for such a long period of time. I also want to write this post in honor of our visiting artist Peter Stone, who sadly was not able to join us for the rest of this trip.
Dominica and the Vector Master
The Freshness of Dominica:
When you find yourself in the natural harbor of Portsmouth you cannot ignore the dense wall of green the volcanic mountains created by Dominica. They scream to the weary sailor, “YOU ARE HERE AND YOUR TOILS HAVE PAID OFF!” Dominica is not the kind of country I was expecting at all. It was so lively; within five minutes of being on land I saw a scooter doing wheelies in the street. A small insignificant event to probably everybody around me but for some reason it warmed my heart.
A New Best Friend
Today as I start my blog post, I think back to our amazing port stop in Dominica. This was not an island I had heard of before I came to SEA Semester, but while on it I fell in love with its mountainous terrain and natural wonders. I was walking with a group of friends, Michaela (Big Mike), Maddy, Lukas, and Will, when a man came up to us and offered us a tour to go see a waterfall. Maybe it’s the atmosphere of being in an entirely new place, but on a whim our group accepted the tour of this licensed guide.
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.
Visit to the Kalinago Territory, Dominica
Our second day in Dominica consisted of a field trip to the Kalinago territory led by our tour guide Patrice. The Kalinago are the indigenous people from Dominica. We took a bumpy car ride that took about an hour to get us to the other side of the island, but offered stunning views of the mountainous and vegetative island. Our first stop on the tour was at David’s Cassava Bakery! Here we learned about the history of the vegetable as a native staple and how the technological advancements in David’s shop helped popularize cassava into a ready-made food that he could quickly make into bread for sale.
All C-271 students are safely aboard SSV Corwith Cramer here in Gallows Bay, St. Croix. This evening, we conducted some orientation training and safety discussions to make sure everyone is comfortable aboard our fine vessel. After a wonderful dinner provided by our steward, Kate, students are now finishing up packing into their bunks and starting to get sleepy.
Ashore in St John, USVI
Good afternoon from the SSV Corwith Cramer. This morning Williams-Mystic S17 went ashore in St John, U.S. Virgin Islands. As the sun rose, we took the small boat ashore to gather on an empty beach for class and snorkeling. Prof. Mike Nishizaki and I discussed the geography, geology, conservation, and reef ecology of St John. Next, TA Hannah Whalen reviewed snorkeling safety. Students put their notebooks down, and then paired up to explore the reef a few steps away. As we swam, pelicans dove for small fish.