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SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer
May 23, 2018
Last Day with Cramer & Co.
SUNY Maritime College, 40° 48’ 19.2” N 73° 47’ 48” W
Course and speed
Sunny and warm
We all knew this moment was coming. As the sun set over the East River, those of us leaving tomorrow began packing our belongings and cleaning our bunks. I can hardly believe that we’ve concluded our voyage already; the Cramer became our home, and it’s hard to leave such a familiar place behind and to readjust to the rhythms of life on land.
Today we visited the New York Aquarium and got a personal tour from Dr. Merry Camhi, the Director of WCS’s New York Seascape. We also gave a presentation on our experiences and scientific work in the Hudson Canyon, through which we sailed on May 19th. The Canyon represents a geographic and biological wonder – right outside New York City’s doorstep lies a dramatic underwater canyon with coral reefs hundreds of feet deep, dramatic steep canyon walls, and abundant marine wildlife. Under the direction of our student Junior Watch and Lab Officers, we students had the opportunity to conduct important research in this canyon all on our own. In many ways it was a culmination of all that we’ve learned about sailing and marine research – we navigated the canyon, maneuvered the Cramer, handled and changed the sails according to where we needed to be and when, and deployed the scientific equipment as a single crew. By now we’re all confident and comfortable in our skills, and it was a great way to show off to our teachers and ourselves just how much we’ve learned.
Already, we’re reminiscing about our time sailing the Cramer. We traveled through a part of the world unfamiliar to most people on a ship that, at first, was entirely unfamiliar to us. By sailing, we are forced to constantly be aware of our relationship to both the sea and sky. We grow so accustomed to our daily routines on land, so absorbed in our own world, that we often forget to look around us; but the Cramer does not allow this. As sailors, we must constantly be in tune with the weather and waves. This may sound like a heavy responsibility, but it is also an opportunity. Rarely have I felt as connected to the world and the people around me as when conditions demanded of my watch to act; as the sea roiled around us with swells peaking up to 20 feet, we adjusted sails and lines to keep our Cramer safe and on course. We acted as one watch, confident in ourselves and each other, while the thousands of stars lit our way North.
Sailing is a way of life unlike anything I’ve experienced, and I’m glad I joined in its tradition with such a wonderful group of people. Thank you all for supporting us and keeping us in your thoughts as we partook in the voyage of a lifetime.