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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

December 19, 2018

An Anchor

Alyssa White, Bard College


View of the Cramer from the rigging.

Ship's Log

GPS Position

Ship Heading

215 psc

Winds ESE Force 3, Seas ExS 4ft

Souls on board

Dear C-283,
I think this is supposed to be for the people back home, but I am completely unrepentant in saying it's for you. People back home are welcomed, encouraged even, to read it, because I know the people reading this for me miss me fiercely, and I miss you too, fiercely enough to know that my heart is not completely in it when I say I never want to go home. Though I'm still not sure I'm ready to go home yet.

That's why this is to you, C-283. I know a lot of us, if not all of us, are unsure if we're ready to go home. I'm writing this blog post with a specific purpose in mind. I haven't been reading the blogs on the Cramer because it's a purpose I know I'll have need of. I plan to read a blog post to anchor myself here with you when I feel my heart has drifted too far. I hope this can be an anchor for you.

If there's anything we've learned out here, it's that time is a transient illusion (okay, and we've learned a lot of other things too), so come back in time with me. It is our final day on Grenada. We've all checked out of True Blue. Ben is DJ-ing for us one last time before we move to the music-limited space of the Cramer. It's quiet, almost too quiet, quiet enough for me to think, and I am overwhelmed with emotion. We are packed for the ship. My journal, my writing, my way of understanding myself is out of reach. I pull out my phone and type this, because if I don't put it somewhere, I will never stop being overwhelmed: I need to find some way to capture the feeling in my heart right now before it fades.

Today is the day. The last day we set foot on Grenadian shores. The day we board the Cramer. A great end and perhaps a greater beginning. My heart feels so full, and at the same time I feel so frightened. As I sit here surrounded by my shipmates, I feel so connected, and yet detached in the way anxieties usually make me. I feel like I should be finding as many moments with these people as possible, but I don't know who will be on my watch, so I don't know who I need to steal time from. I love these people so much, and I'm so happy but so worried, because how well can this profound connection between sixteen people last? Will we hold up to the separation? But I had many of the same fears when we left Woods Hole. I was worried the dynamic would shift, and there would no longer be the spaces for what was once so comfortable a fit. We did shift, but we only shifted closer. So I'll hold on to that reality, hold on to the most amazing people I've ever met, and trust that the rest of our lives will be spent shifting together.

I have many of these same fears now, though I also recognize now how ridiculous they are. We will keep on shifting together, but it's still true that every single moment with every single one of you is precious, and I could never collect enough that I would feel satisfied if any of them were the last. But this is not about idle fears, or about missing each other. This is about the far more important task of holding on. Every moment, from the dance parties in Woods Hole to evenings watching for the Green Flash on the Cramer, has been shaped by how amazing and important all of you are. So I want to do a special count-off:

1. Davi - The highest energy I have ever felt. It's difficult to feel down around you when you're flying so high.

2. Ale - Freedom. Nothing about you is restrained. You use this fact to free others.

3. Christian - Laughter. You bring us so much laughter in the kindest way possible.

4. Maria - Brilliance that could be nebulous yet you balance it with a kindness that keeps you with us and makes it something to be shared.

5. Ryanne - Self-awareness. You know who you are and what you feel and it gives a comfort to your interactions with the rest of us.

6. Hannah - Self-assurance. You know what you want and always reach out and grab it. We are lucky enough that you decided to reach out to us.

7. Bryce - Music. I don't know if I can explain how far your music went to making this feel like home for me.

8. Colleen - Care. You take such careful care with all of us. You're always there in quiet moments of need.

9. Sharil - Wit. Your wit is knife-sharp and a pointed delight in conversation.

10. Nina - Openness. You shared so much of yourself and your culture that you didn't have to with us, and seemed to love it. I love stories, and I love connecting the world, and I love you.

11. Chloe - Comfort. Your smiles, your jokes, and your affection all seem to come so easily. It puts me at ease.

12. Laura - Patience. You have a willingness to understand that the world would benefit from more of.

13. Mahalia - Righteousness. I don't always agree with the direction it takes, but I admire and relate to feeling something so strongly it seems to overtake the entirety of you, if only for a moment.

14. Shane - Gentleness. You have so much strength, physical and mental, but you take so much care with both. You make your strength the strength of those you love as well.

15. Me - Honesty, I hope. I've been more open with you than any other group of people, and I've guarded the things you've shared with me close to my heart.

16. Linny - Confidence. You always seem so sure, it makes me feel surer of myself. You make me feel brave

I could probably fill books with what I love about each and every one of you. I love you with a love as deep as the deepest part of the ocean we sailed over. You are my family. But I only have pages here, so I'll leave you with one last sentiment, the anchor that has been holding me together these last few days:

A family, once found, is never lost.
A family, once found, is never lost.
A family, once found, is never lost.

All of my love,

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Caribbean Reef Expedition, • Topics: None • (2) 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 Eileen Lashinsky on December 21, 2018

Thank you for your insight!!
I’m sure everyone is having mixed feelings.
(Davi’s Mom)




#2. Posted by James White on December 21, 2018

How long I have waited to see your words.
How long I have waited to hear your voice.
Yours is the voice of truth.
Yours is the voice of love.
Your voice echoes across the empty miles,
Glancing off the windswept whitecaps and rocky shores,
You give of your self
With the openness
Of the ever-shifting sea.

My thanks to these salt-seasoned souls
For bearing my daughter aloft
On the endless tides.





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