Current position of the SSV Corwith Cramer. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
February 24, 2019
Last Day in Samana!
Samana, Dominican Republic
Sunny and hot!
Today was our last day in port in the Dominican Republic before we set sail to Silver Bank National Marine Mammal Sanctuary tomorrow (yay, whales!). It also happens to be my 21st birthday, which I got to ring in at midnight after my watch with my friends and the quietly peaceful Cramer under the stars.
We got an early start on the day's activities for a full day of port stop exploration (shout out to Natalie's mom for her baked oatmeal recipe: my dream birthday breakfast). There was a lot of splashing on our way over to Samana on our small rescue boats, but it was okay because the heat and the sun dried us off right away. Some people attended a local church service with lots of music and dancing and food, getting some insight and a warm welcome into the town's culture. Another group of us took a (very crowded) ride over to Las Galeras, a fishing region on the east coast of the Samana Peninsula. There, we sat on the most beautiful beach and ate delicious dorado and tostones by the bright blue water. Having the help of Mariana and Asia helped us find the most beautiful places with the best local food for the cheapest prices because, as Mariana says, she's cool in Spanish. With their translation were also able to speak with so many kind and interesting Dominican people.
Back in the town of Samana, the whole class headed over to visit the Whaling Museum to meet with some local experts on environmental issues. We heard from representatives from the local fishing cooperative and from the CEBSE non-profit organization, which focuses on the protection of Samana Bay and its surroundings through outreach and education within nearby communities.
We all learned a lot and got to ask tons of questions about sustainable development, conservation, and the concept of changing peoples' way of thinking. All of our hosts were so passionate about their work and it was really inspiring to hear about all of the initiatives they have started in the region. Our distinguished speakers included: Leida Buglass and husband Daniel - co-directors of CEBSE, Aurelio Reyes - Environmental Education Associate for CEBSE, Trini Reyes one of the first woman captains among the Samana Bay whale watching industry (also a school administrator who promotes several conservation initiatives), and Nony and Pedro - two fisherman who started the Espiritu Santos Fishing Cooperative in order to conserve local fishing resources and protect coral reefs.
After our field trip, we had some time to say goodbye to Samana and enjoy the remaining time we had on land before getting back underway tomorrow. It was so great to see everyone having an amazing day and ending our time here on the highest, happiest note. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by the most amazing shipmates, especially on my birthday so far from home. It was definitely a day I'll remember well for years to come. I think I speak for everyone when I say how excited we are to go to Silver Bank and look at (and listen to) lots of humpback whales! Stay tuned!
P.S. to family and friends: Konnichiwa fam!! Thank you for all the birthday cards, they made my day. I love you all endlessly and cannot wait to tell you all about my adventures. Meg- your letters never cease to make me laugh and Cate- your card was stunning. Sarah- happy half bday sis!