SEA Currents: Dec 2014
Dr. Mary Malloy, Director of our new Global Ocean programs, is a guest writer for the Ocean Health Index blog this month. With SEA Semester’s first two Global Ocean programs now completed, Mary describes how curriculum was tailored to incorporate themes of this valuable new tool, and observations of how students utilized various metrics in their studies both on-shore and at sea.
The Wx (weather) is beautiful, but the ship is quiet with the students departed, as C-256 has officially ended. It was an epic voyage and truly impressive in the annals of SEA – many, many miles sailed with few engine hours. But what was even more impressive was the community that developed aboard. Bringing both Maritime Studies and Scientific voyagers aboard to augment the students worked out delightfully well, adding a depth to their SEA experience.
Happy to report the successful conclusion of C256 - Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean.
The Cramer and her crew are securely tied up alongside the pier in Gallows Bay, Christiansted, St Croix, USVIs.
The students have made their way to the airport and will soon be recounting their tales of adventure on the high seas, to family and friends!
Ever since writing my last blog post I have been concerned about this one. What would I say about our very last day? How would I sum up this voyage and do the rest of my ship proud? I am not this vessel’s most artistic writer, in fact I tend to write very technically and without flourish. I am not one of the people on this vessel who has been in love with this experience from the very beginning; I am grateful for it, but also ready to come home to my family. So how could I possibly be the right person to write this final blog post?
Today was a day of great significance: celestial, emotional, and developmental. For us here in New Zealand it is December 22nd, the Summer Solstice. It was the last full day of our program, full of fun activities, cleaning, and general wrapping-up procedure. Most of us finally enjoyed a moment not dominated by battling the seas or racing to an assignment deadline: during this opportunity to reflect we realized how much we’ve changed and what we’ve learned over the past three months together.
The academic portion of C256 is all wrapped up, which might lead you to believe that we are all taking it easy on the Cramer, but the ship is still bustling with activity. This morning, while at anchor in Francis Bay in the beautiful national park of St. John, USVI, the entire ship’s company did our most thorough cleaning of the ship yet. It started out with an activity called bunk love, in which all of the off-going crew packs away their souvenirs, foul weather gear, and foul smelling clothes to empty and clean their bunks.
Just a note that Sarah (Winnie) Davis has been unanimously elected as C256 Class Representative. Winnie eagerly volunteered and was quickly supported by all her shipmates. She is the class rep for her high school and has already jumped front and center to her task.
When I was woken up at 0600 this morning for watch with the weather update of ‘wear your foulies,’ I didn’t know what to expect coming up on deck. Today was supposed to be our Final Mission Day, where each watch would be given a location to sail to and science deployment to complete. Unfortunately, the wind and seas picked up last night, gusting to 40 kts and forcing us to strike all sails… Looks like we’re back near the infamous Cook Strait!
As the C256 voyage draws to a close, so too does the academic work. This morning, students presented their “Change Paper” on-site research findings to the ship’s company. With so many things to share about their island explorations, the students easily filled the allotted 4-hour time slot with details relating to their projects focused on everything from language and religion to the conservation of marine resources and island land use.
Well, I lucked out to be able to write the blog today, but my only problem is how to describe how perfect today has been. We started the day waking with the rising crescent moon competing to take over the sky with sunrise. The sun’s rays greeting us along with a warm, calm northwest wind (yes, I stated that correctly, WARM north winds!) with blue skies to follow. The four lowers were raised for the last time as we go to anchor tomorrow nearing completion of our voyage.