Ready for an adventure with a purpose? Request info »
  • Search SEA Semester, Summer and High School Programs
  • View SEA Semester campus visit calendar

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

March 23, 2015

Note from Rick Jones

Rick Jones , Illustration Faculty

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Above: Kalinago Dancers by Rick Jones Below: Dominica wildlife by Rick Jones

Ship's Log

Souls on Board

To the parents of my shipmates:

Spring is just now touching the Hudson Valley, where I just arrived, after enjoying the privilege of spending three weeks with the students and crew of C257. My seventeen year old twin boys greet me with hugs, which is about the best thing anyone can ask for when they've been away from loved ones.

I had the pleasure of being the illustration instructor for C257, both in Woods Hole and during the Cramer's run down the Lesser Antilles. Our goal has been to help them document their trip in journal form, much as people throughout history have done, as they experienced their own voyages of discovery. Observation, writing and illustration help them process the information, personalize their experiences, and hopefully, allow them to tell their stories to others in ways that are powerful to others as well.

As I finish up the last of my drawings in my own journal, I am reflecting not only on the inspirations and understandings I gained during my time on board and ashore, but I am thinking about the changes that your children are undergoing. I think it's safe to say that the time they are spending on the Corwith Cramer and its crew of teachers is bringing them much understanding about their strengths and weaknesses. I know their time spent among the peoples of the Caribbean is giving them an understanding of hardship, generosity and adaptability that they previously only imagined. I think you will be surprised by the changes in them.

I've seen them loud as they celebrate victories and friendship together. I've seen them struck silent, awed by the gift of food and dance offered by the *Kalinago* (formerly *Carib* Indians) and their joy at doing a Hummingbird Dance with them. I've seen them give a salty squint at the horizon, getting a feel for weather, the waves, the wildlife, how the sails are filling out. I've seen them grow, not only as confident shipmates, but young adults experiencing a new world, asking questions, synthesizing their knowledge of the cultures they have visited and the ocean that surrounds us all.

They will try and explain it, and maybe their words and photos (and their journals!) will convey some part of that journey of discovery. But know that they now feel the sea and the world in a different way than they did last winter. As a parent, I know that may be the next best thing to know about after the hugs are given out.

Your children are awesome.

- Rick

Examples of student illustration:

Corey Wrinn sketches - fish IDs for our reef surveys


Molly Disbrow - Sargassum and associated fauna sketch for her OC project.


Kathie Brill- Island scenes for maritime studies

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean, • Topics: c257 • (2) 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 Ann Marie on March 24, 2015

Wonderful!  Thank you!

#2. Posted by Mary Ann on March 24, 2015

Thank you Rick for your letter and for your instruction.  I am so happy and grateful that the students of C-257 had a chance to illustrate their experiences on shore and at sea.  Wow! 

Mary Ann (Toni’s mom)



Add a comment:

Notify me of follow-­up comments?

I would like SEA to keep me informed about news and opportunities.