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SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
October 22, 2016
Be Ready on Deck with All That You Need
Alongside, ZonaFranca, Cadiz
Stormy-looking sky but subdued overall
Midmorning today I woke up, tumbled with the rocking of the ship into the library in my banana boxers like I usually do when I have the morning off, and poured all kinds of ideas for weird themed blog entries, and lists of quotes and anecdotes onto the ships network. They framed my state of mind at sea.
Now, here we are, at the dock, going nowhere, under nothing, so lucky to be safe and tied up back in the special city of Cadiz. Land life! Brain switch! Change rhythms! Our capacity for a split lifestyle, following sea patterns
and port patterns in one day, reminds me of some of my favorite architecture I have seen so far: At the base of the Sagrada Familia, there are two pillars framing the entryway on the Nativity façade. On the left, towards the sea, a sea turtle as big as me is the base of one pillar. On the right, towards the mountains, a large tortoise or land turtle holds up the other pillar. Two versions of a symbol of wisdom, our guide Micah explained, supporting the rest of the natural carvings that fill the front of the building. I feel like a turtle no matter what, most days, honestly, but today in particular I have been both varieties.
And so much happened in between my turtle switch today! Coming into the dock today, we saw lots of rain and did plenty of maneuvering and getting ready to come into port again. The title of this blog was posted in the main salon midday. I love that in this program and way of life, this frank expectation of readiness is the norm. Ok, I guess I’ll still write a little, about one of the things I was thinking about writing about while at sea, and then see if I can apply it to land life over the next few days.
Anticipation: a few thoughts. By Kate Enright.
First of all, “don’t say pre-anticipation. That is redundant.” – Elliot.
Second of all, anticipation clearly is very important. It’s the reason that we are back here, safe, and I am grateful that there is a chain of awareness, anticipation and actions taken in order to make things better by not letting them get bad in the first place.
Third of all, I love seeing how much this program reprograms you for anticipation: when you (“you” meaning “I,” “we,”) come up on watch, you gotta be ready for anything. Bring three layers with you, don’t forget your water bottle, flashlight, A-game, knife, pocket snacks. Guess what: the rest of your life is now going to feel like getting ready for watch. In some ways, it’s harder to leave the house in the morning, because you are wondering whether or not you need your multi-tool, but it instills in you a routine attitude of seizing of the day, mentally steeling yourself, and also centering all of you. I am so grateful to be practicing this at sea, as I have been doing it on land for a little while.
Fourth, as I have pondered with some watch members: try as you might, and as much as anticipation becomes ingrained in you here: you cannot ever really anticipate what you will be good at, where you will feel needed and challenged and stretched each day, and what part of shipboard life will resonate with you most. Or when you will feel good about where you are. It is both frustrating and comforting. And in the meanwhile, you can give
yourself over and see what sticks, try new things each day (or night,) talk to new people and in new situations, and practice a balance between anticipation and reaction to how you feel in each moment. Find results when
they show themselves to you like flashes on the water. Both small and big examples, sweet coils, real turtles, and moments of captaincy, like all of these other stories from the ship. And, I think, hope for the best. Oh man,
the fine points between anticipating and hoping, that’s too heady for a deckhand like me.
Be ready on deck (and land) with all that you need, (literally and spiritually).
C Watch Deck Monkey Sailing Intern
P.S. Hi family! I miss you so much. Email me and I will email you back! We are in port! Duh! This also applies to the squad: sea turtles, land turtles, hogchokers, etc….