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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

February 25, 2017

Dominica and the Vector Master

William Fitzgerald, Knox College

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Taking a local boat ride ashore in Dominica.

Ship's Log

35 miles south of Boquerón, Puerto Rico

Ship’s Heading
Northwest towards Samana

Sail Plan
Motor sailing for now.

Light winds from the east

Souls on Board

The Freshness of Dominica:
When you find yourself in the natural harbor of Portsmouth you cannot ignore the dense wall of green the volcanic mountains created by Dominica. They scream to the weary sailor, "YOU ARE HERE AND YOUR TOILS HAVE PAID OFF!" Dominica is not the kind of country I was expecting at all. It was so lively; within five minutes of being on land I saw a scooter doing wheelies in the street. A small insignificant event to probably everybody around me but for some reason it warmed my heart. It told me that I could be relaxed and that I was entering a place with plenty of joy. At dinner time, I also had a sense of Dominica's vivacious night life. Beach houses boomed with augmented pop music that incorporated things like trucks horns, police sirens and exaggerated bass notes. All of these contextual cues told me that I was in a place that had a thriving music culture, and for a country with a population less than 75,000 I was amazed how developed the Dominican music scene turned out to be. I asked a local DJ on the beach some questions regarding my research project on Caribbean music, and he gave me some interesting ideas about how to explore the development of popular dance music in the Caribbean.

Meeting the Vector Master:
It was 0230 and it was time for a Weather Check. At this time in the morning all things come between long, weary blinks that are independent of your actions. Your Brain tells your feet that you need to stop thinking and sit down, but Cramer defies your Brain's wants and desires. My Watch Officer Sara Martin was showing me a new tool called a Vector Master. The Vector Master uses information such as general wind direction, the compass heading, and wind speed to tell the sailor what the true direction of the wind is.

For some reason I liked this little tool, it's about the size of a square napkin and it can give you an accurate reading of where the wind is coming from even at night when you can't see the waves.  I was so excited to use it even though it's banal to most other people (Sara Martin included) but to me it's this little process of using inferential data to make more exact observations that makes me smile in the early morning.

William Fitzgerald


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