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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 20, 2014

Aphorisms, Clichés, and Quotes

Jeff Schell, Chief Scientist

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Above: Students choose to forego study hall and instead work on holiday cookie decorations; clearly a worthwhile use of time. Below: Shout-out & standing ovation to our Maritime Voyagers for their rousing rendition of Moby Dick - Stage left, Ger as Starbuck [and others]; Stage right, Tyler as Queequeg [and others]; and Center stage, Matt as Captain Ahab [others and production director!].

Ship's Log

Deck logbook entry for 0700
B Watch (Godfrey [student] & Murray [3rd Mate]) relieves A Watch (Hayward [student] & Leathers [2nd Mate]) on a starboard tack under the tops’l, mainstays’l, and forestays’l.  Course ordered by and large, course steered 270degrees. 

Winds Force 3 from the east, seas 2 ft from the east, clouds 3/8ths – cumulous. 

Barometer 1014.5mb. 

Lookout posted forward.  We are sailing through Drake’s Passage, making 4 knots, en route to Cruz Bay, St John to clear US Customs and then to our anchorage in Francis Bay by mid-afternoon. 

Taffrail Log

Marine Debris Observed last 24hrs (estimate of totals)
Nothing observed during our morning passage.

Sargassum Observed last 24hrs (estimate of totals)
Narrow windrows of Sargassum to port and starboard.

There is a time and a place for everything – and at 0650 this morning the wisdom of these words is slowly dawning upon me.  Today I am tasked with the daily blog for cruise C256 – and the bar has been set very high these past many weeks.  Dear readers, I do not want to disappoint, but I must admit as I type these words I am a reluctant author.  As we approach the final days of our voyage it is only natural to look back upon all that we have accomplished, to reflect upon what we have learned, and to imagine what we are now capable of achieving with the wealth of accumulated experience and wisdom shared on this voyage.  Yet, as I ponder past accomplishments of the students I can’t help but to be drawn back into the present.  There is still so much to do, so much to experience, even in these waning moments of the cruise, we are far from being finished. 

Over the years there have been numerous quotes, clichés and aphorism that capture these very sentiments.  For instance, by Jack London, “I would rather be ashes than dust!  I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than asleep and permanent as a planet.  The proper function of humanity is to live, not to exist.  I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them, I shall use my time.”  I imagine Jack would not be down below writing in his journal while sailing through Drake’s Passage at dawn! 

Another apt quote from Thoreau – “I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately… I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”  YES!  Thoreau most certainly understood the distinction between a time for reflection and a time for action! 

More recently you find this sense of living in the moment expressed more succinctly such as:  “Sleep when you are dead”, or “You only live once – YOLO!” 

There is no doubt, the students, voyagers, and crew of C256 have accomplished something truly special on this voyage from Gran Canaria to the Caribbean, but now is still not the time to look back, we still have three glorious days onboard the SSV Corwith Cramer remaining to us before our adventure draws to a close and I intend to use my time wisely. 

Have no fear; the students are following this same advice.  The ship Watch schedule, the sea, our surroundings require it. This very moment Emma as JWO and A Watch is turning over the deck responsibilities to Zach and B Watch – and my goodness, what a day they have in store for them.  We have the British Virgin Islands to our north, the USVIs to our south, shallow banks below, sun drenched clouds above, lines to haul, Sargassum to dip net, the camaraderie of fellow shipmates to enjoy, and a plethora of sights, sounds, smells, and stories to experience. 

Colonization to Conservation in the CaribbeanToday will bring us to Cruz Bay, St John to clear US Customs, and eventually to our anchorage in Francis Bay.  I suspect there will be a swim call while at anchor, and the students have presentations to prepare for tomorrow, and after dinner our maritime voyagers will be presenting a play – Moby Dick in 30’ if you can believe it! 

It is now 0752 and I have already been informed by three separate crew members that there is so much Sargassum that it just can’t be ignored.  So I must leave you dear reader so I too can join the students and crew on deck to ‘live’ these cherished moments that remain to us onboard the Cramer.   In closing I will leave you with these humble words of advice:  “Whether it be success and gain or loss and pain that color your days, remember this… the joy of life is in living it, so out the door with you to play!”

For that is exactly what I will be doing. 


Categories: Corwith Cramer,Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean, • Topics: c256 • (7) Comments
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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 Steve Hadik on December 22, 2014

for a reluctant author, you’re a good one.

Fair Winds and ChiveOn

Steve Hadik

#2. Posted by Good Morning Thoughts on October 16, 2015

Very well written!  You have some great quotes in here.  I really like the one by Jack London and Thoreau.

Thanks for this grin

#3. Posted by Love Poems and Quotes on January 07, 2016

Thank you for sharing. I am a big Jack London fan and this is so awesome! smile

#4. Posted by Andrew on April 14, 2016

Jeff, great London’s quote. Thank you!

#5. Posted by Best Quotes And Wishes on July 16, 2016

I like your website from a long time and reading it from India from a long time. Thank you for such an awesome article. I like it so much.

#6. Posted by Moving On Quotes on August 01, 2016

Thanks Jeff for this well written article. I like the quotes you shared, they are very positive and inspiring.

#7. Posted by truth questions on August 29, 2016

Very well written!  You have some great quotes in here.  I really like the one by Jack London and Thoreau.
thank you jeff



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