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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 21, 2016

Cádiz II: Electric Boogaloo

Dan Mayer, Carleton College

The Global Ocean: Europe

Team effort and tall socks are the two keys to successful sail handling.

Ship's Log

36° 10.6’N x 007° 34.3’W

Description of location
Gulf of Cadiz

Ship Heading
070° psc

Sail Plan
Sailing at 5 knots under single reefed mains’l, stays’ls, and jib.

Winds SSW Beaufort scale 4, Seas SW 3 feet.
Souls on Board

As some or most of the blog readers may know by now, the Cramer and her crew are no longer on course for the island of Madeira, but have turned back towards Cádiz, Spain, for another three days in port. The news came to us today by way of our captain, explaining that there was a large storm in our cruise track that was unavoidable, and it was a bad one. He explained that although he trusted us students and the rest of the crew, you don’t sail yourself into a storm of this magnitude if you don’t have to – and even if we did make it to Madeira without incident, the port may be closed completely due to the swells.

Although I was looking forward to Madeira, the news was not a particularly harsh blow to me; both my paper and research project were Mediterranean-focused, and my at-sea data collection for both assignments is finished. I could not help but think of my shipmates though, some of whom have entire research papers solely on Madeira or need the oceanographic data of that region to complete their data set. I expected to hear outcry, and for people to be upset that months’ work may go incomplete due to inclement weather -  a totally understandable reaction considering how hard students have worked on these semester-long projects, but what I saw reminded me of what makes life on the Cramer as great as it is: everyone took it in stride, heads nodding and supportive of the cap as he broke the news – everyone was already onboard, no pun intended.

As we begin the second phase of this semester, where us students begin to take on more responsibilities and assume leadership roles over our peers, I have been surprised to find myself far less apprehensive than I expected I would be. The reason I am so excited, is exactly because of situations like this – the crew and students of the Cramer are here to support each other and their leaders first and foremost, and they do it with such resolve and good spirits that they could make a Napoleon of even the most socially inept computer science kid. I experienced this first hand yesterday, during our weekly safety drills. The cap asked us if anyone wanted to become master of sail for the drill – I for some reason rose my hand and found myself being looked at by 33 faces awaiting orders. After getting most of the steps wrong and stumbling through the drill, I expected the crew and my peers to come back quietly or worse be mad at me for making the drill take longer – but  instead I received pats on the back, “great job”s and other words of encouragement.

As we sail back into Cádiz, I cannot stop thinking about my shipmates and how much they have supported me, the cap, and each other during these last 48 hours. I feel able and eager to lead in this environment because I know everyone wants the best for the Cramer and each other, and wants to see everyone around them succeed. I am so grateful to have been able to experience such a massive amount of support, and I cannot wait to give it right back to my ship mates when their times come.

A shout out as well to the only people I know who are as supportive as my family on board which is my real one. Miss you guys, give Renny a few pats for me.
- Dan

Categories: Corwith Cramer,The Global Ocean: Europe, • Topics: c269  life at sea  leadership • (4) 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 Linda Glass on October 24, 2016

Your words show us so much about the character of the “souls on board” (love that term)...impressive group for sure!

#2. Posted by Rose Sword on October 24, 2016

I echo Linda - reading your blog filled my heart with a warm feeling for all of you. Excerpt piece.

#3. Posted by Mindy Mayer on October 25, 2016

BRAVO to the steadfast and stalwart captain and crew of the Corwith Cramer!  You all are inspiring in your resilience, spirit, loyalty, and teamwork. Love you, Dan (and those socks)!

Safe passage,

Mindy Mayer

#4. Posted by Rose Sword on October 25, 2016

Sorry! I suffer from a combo of AC (auto correct) and FF (fat fingers).  EXCELLENT piece!



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