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SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

February 24, 2015

An Unconventional 21st Birthday

Charlotte Beal, B Watch, Carleton College

Molly, Charlotte and Emma celebrate the sunset at sea (and Charlotte’s Birthday!)

Ship's Log

41° 10.554’S, 177° 34.802’E

Souls on Board

The first hour of my 21st birthday was an eventful one. I was on watch, actively handling sails, surveying the surrounding waters for boat traffic at the bow, and balancing on the bowsprit in preparation to set the jib. The winds and swells were intense; it was as if I was a pinball, and the ship was a giant pinball game, making simple maneuvers much more difficult. However, the clear skies were a recipe for great stars, and I was finally able to locate the components of the Celestial G without the help of Stu, my watch officer. Looking at the dramatic seas surrounding us, I was happy to be secure on the Robert C. Seamans with my watchmates.

Although the rest of my day was not as active, it was equally memorable. I toasted my ability to legally drink and purchase alcohol in the U.S. with a celebratory shot of apple cider vinegar with Lauren, our steward. I drank my coffee and read Moby Dick while lounging on deck. I ate a chocolate brownie sundae in the main salon with the ship’s entire crew. It was these simple pleasures that made my day wonderful.

At home, I like to treat my birthday as an ordinary day in order to avoid unsatisfied expectations. When I woke up this morning, I thought I was going to have another one of those birthdays, which would have been totally fine. While sailing on a tall ship off the coast of New Zealand would make any birthday special, the company of my shipmates made my day extraordinary. Although it is difficult to describe the nature of the community that is
created through living and learning on a 134 ft ship to those who aren’t experiencing it, the warmth I received from my shipmates on my birthday provides a window into the supportive, close-knit environment that we have developed on the ship over the past two weeks. The Seamans is truly a special place, and I can’t wait to see what happens over the next few weeks.

- Charlotte

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s257 • (6) Comments
Previous entry: Opening the Pool    Next entry: Welcome Aboard, Sarge!


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 Bill Geib on February 25, 2015

I so look forward to daily logs to get my dose of ship life while I freeze in Long island NY To my daughter Claudia love you and I am so excited to see pictures from your incredible adventure keep the wind in your sales and enjoy
Love Mom Dad and Brenna PS we had a heat wave today the temp reached 37

#2. Posted by Jan Jones on February 25, 2015

We also look forward to your blogs each day!  For a second, I thought Charlotte’s picture was of Jenny.  (Cover the mouth and they look the same, I think.)  We had a heat wave too (26 degrees), but it’s supposed to go down to 6 tonight.  Be safe and enjoy your wonderful experiences.  Jan (Jenny’s mom)

#3. Posted by Barbara Beal on February 25, 2015

To my daugther, Charlotte, Thank you for the wonderful blog post on your 21st Birthday and the great photo!!!  What a memorable birthday 21 has been and will be for the rest of your life!  Happy Birthday! Enjoy the rest of your voyage!!  All my love, Mom

#4. Posted by Lisa Ceremsak on February 26, 2015


#5. Posted by Sunshine on February 26, 2015

Last night after dinner, Evan and I took a walk around SD Seaport Village; he laughed and pointed to a huge yacht, ‘HARMONY’ docked in the harbor. We were comparing several sailboats right next to her, trying to figure out the size of the one you are sailing now. We all miss you very much, and know you are having a great time and experience out there.
Looking forward to your blogs soon. Can’t wait to know all about your adventures.  Have fun! Be safe!


弟弟收到另一个学校通知,奨学金四年八万四,外加補助金,根据家庭收入而定。He is working hard, and having fun with Chewonki friends.

#6. Posted by Aunt Nancy on March 01, 2015

Dear Charlotte,

Your post is beautifully written—awesome! What a fabulously memorable trip.

I understand your sentiments about birthdays; after all, I’ve had a lot of them. I have come to regard them as little more than just another day. I think Billy spent his 21st birthday studying for midterms and working. Although your 21st was unconventional, it sounds simply wonderful (all except for the apple cider vinegar.)

I wish we could spend more time together and that we lived closer. Take care and Happy Happy Birthday!

Nancy XOXO



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