SEA Currents: Dec 2015
Tonight marks our last night together as a family and crew for C-263 onboard the Cramer. We had our final swizzle with many wonderful acts and poems and songs. This post has a few. I must say that this group of people is one of the funniest groups of people I have ever interacted with and I don’t think I have laughed so much in my entire life. I think it may be part being out at sea brings out the crazy in us all and the fact that everyone has great personalities and is hilarious.
After a day of fighting the mung, Bobby C is spotless and all our stuff is (mostly) crammed back into our bags. We set the mainsl one last time and are now preparing for a delicious dinner and final festivities tonight, where everyone’s talents will be finely displayed.
After 30 days at sea crossing the Atlantic, and now sailing through Caribbean islands, our trip is nearing an end. I cannot quite figure out exactly how I’m feeling about returning home and ending this epic adventure. During this time at sea I have gone from a completely incompetent student to a mildly competent sailor, and it has been an exhausting experience. There were countless moments where I wanted to give up; where I was failing and longed to be at home, with simple luxuries such as music and long showers.
Just like that, we’re back into the normal ship routine we all missed so much from before we anchored in Portsmouth. Mind you, Dominica was incredibly beautiful; the boiling lake, the beaches, French fries, ice cream, all of it felt like a dream after thirty days at sea. I realized while we were sitting at a restaurant called the Purple Turtle on our last day in port that being on land felt less familiar to me at this point in time than being back on the ship.
We have left Portsmouth. Now we sail into the great blue yonder of the Eastern Caribbean, skirting our way past islands and across channels, always heading Northwest and praying, please god, no more light and variable winds. Today, the weather is “sporty,” as cap likes to say, with five- to six-foot swells and twenty five knots of wind sending us along at a glorious six plus knots. How incredible that the wind alone can propel such a large vessel and all of her inhabitants at such a rate that the seas froth up at the bow, and send occasional fans of spray over the starboard rail.
Whenever the crew talked about Dominica’s boiling lake, I apparently had something else in mind. I imagined a lake with some bubbles coming to the surface, much like the first sets up bubbles that appear in ones pot as they’re boiling water for some pasta. I imagined wrong, completely wrong.
Although it’s still something people will immediately shush you for should you bring it up over dinner, our time at sea is coming to a close. To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure of the best way for me to utilize this blog post. I would love to sum everything up in a nice, neat few paragraphs, but that’s pretty impossible. So if you can, bear with me while I wander and ramble.
And now for some cloud poetry from the ship’s company:
With clear skies and the sun shining,
I miss the days of us together.
Cumulus clouds perfectly combining,
We were one, you as my lover.
Have you ever been stuck in a parallel universe? What?! You have? Wow. Well for the rest of you looking for that kind of experience, have I got the place for you: Napier, New Zealand. For the past two days, we have enjoyed strolling the streets of Napier, smelling that salty air, and imagining what this place might have been like in years past. It’s not too hard, though, because everything in this town was built in 1932.
What separates a sailor, particularly of the salty Seamans variety, from any old landlubber? During our port stops, the answers to this question become the most clear. It could be our slightly disheveled air-our stained t-shirts, matching hiking sandals, and wind-tousled hair that make the locals look twice. We can go ahead and pretend it’s because our open ocean tans (sunburns) make even the most rugged of Kiwis seem like they don’t enough time outside. It could also be the way we move in packs through any town, like a swarm of locusts alighting on any and all available Tim Tams.