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Current position of the SSV Corwith Cramer. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the layer tools, top right, to change the map style or to view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).

SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

October 28, 2016

A Pajaro’s Eye View

Kat So, B-Watch, Northeastern University

The Global Ocean: Europe

Above: “B Watch, Best Watch” Below: The view of the Cramer from the Top Yard Platform.

Ship's Log

34° 22’ N x 009° 30’ W

Enroute to Gran Canaria

Winds NE at Force 1

Steering 225° PSC

Souls on Board

There is this notion that humans are inexplicably drawn to the sea. This attraction is the explanation for the settlement of cities, the rise in tourism etc. Whether you believe this or not, the notion exists. I propose another notion, we at SEA are inexplicably drawn to overlooks - we crave a bird’s eye view of a city, of the ocean of whatever. We crave a new perspective.

In Barcelona, we climbed a tower in the Sagrada Familia and had a spectacular view from the Stone Giant. In Palma, we did a light hike (45 minutes of switchbacks) to get to Castle Bellver, situated on a decently high hill overlooking the city. In Cádiz, we climbed a sloping stone steps stairway into a tower of the Cathedral. We also climbed to the top of a watchtower, Torre Tavira, and saw not only the city, but a 360 degree view through a Camera Obscura. And in Gibraltar, we took a cable car to the very top of the rock and were graced with gorgeous panoramas of Africa, the Strait and tailless monkeys.

My favorite view though, is from the top of the foremast of the Cramer. You’re only allowed to go aloft during the daytime when there are relatively docile conditions. (And of course with the permission of the Watch Officer who’s on deck). Climbing up the shrouds, hanging onto the ratlines, first you encounter the course yard platform. Continue upwards and you will reach the top yard platform. You get to the top and just take it all in - the vast expanse of ocean, the sound of your shipmates talking, the movement of the swells against the ship’s hull. Looking down at your shipmates on deck, they seem so far away. This is probably the most alone you could be on this 135 foot sailing vessel, assuming nobody else is aloft at the same time. You’re part of the Cramer but at the same time are not. 

It’s all about perspective. Putting what we’re learning into it, adjusting our own to better lead, and taking a step back to gain it. The nuances of a place can only be witnessed on the ground. But there’s something unique about being removed from the action, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. 

We are on our 2nd of 9 days into the final leg of our voyage to the Canary Islands. We have been aboard the Cramer for 31 days and have been together as 15 students for much longer. A professor once told me to appreciate a single tree, but do not forget to acknowledge the entire forest. As our time on the Cramer comes to an end, it’s increasingly more important to step back
for a second and just take it all in. All of the experiences we have as individuals and shared combine to encompass C-269.

I am so so so thankful for every experience I have had on this boat so far--from learning my lines to standing watch in the rain, attempting to get onto the gangway during high tide in Cadiz, being a fender handler and singing throwback songs on field day. There are countless little moments to look back on where we triumphed or faltered and definitely where we just had a great time.

But from aloft, we are all C-269 and this is SEA Semester.


PS. Hi to all my family and friends following the blog! Thanks for keeping track of me and miss you all lots.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,The Global Ocean: Europe, • Topics: c269  life at sea • (1) Comments


Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Rose Sword on November 01, 2016

Love the over-arcing use of perspective, especially the lofty one! Wishing you all the best as you complete this voyage - and far beyond the current horizon!



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