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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

December 01, 2017

Our Huge World

Alex Ahlquist, B-Watch, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Caribbean Reef Expedition

View of Union Island from atop Fort Hill!

Ship's Log

Noon Position
12° 35.4’ N x 61° 24.7’ W

Off the coast of Union Island

Ship Heading

Ship Speed

315.1 nm

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan (from 1300 Watch Change)
Comfortable Caribbean Warmth/ Light winds from ESE / Anchored until December 5th

Souls on Board

Man, the world is big! I'm on the Corwith Cramer right now in port at Union Island in the Tobago Cays, and it sure is beautiful here. It sure did take a lot of work though! Life as part of a crew on a boat is pretty difficult.

Each day is work and sleep in a never-ending cycle, and I have a feeling these next 22 days are either going to fly by, or be incredibly long. It sure is a different state of being going to sleep one day, and waking up on that same day, and then having even more work to do, but it's a lot of fun!

There's a lot to learn when getting accustomed to life on a boat, lines to be coiled, uncoiled, heaved, eased, and every line has a different name and a specific purpose. Learning the language of the ship is a slow process, but it's pretty rewarding once you get it down. It's been a long trip, but I'm sure it will be well worth it! Twice on this trip I've been told by guest speakers that Tobago Cays have some of the most pristine coral reefs in the world, and I'm going to be lucky enough to see them tomorrow! Not only that, but I'm going to get to collect scientific information which me and my classmates will use for our research projects!

Today we got to have a few hours of free time to explore Union Island. In Grenada we could walk right onto the Corwith Cramer, but here, our boat is too large to get to shore, so we had to get onto smaller boats to even get to land! As fun as life at sea can be, it sure was a relief to finally get my feet onto solid ground and to walk without stumbling to the side as a wave crashes unexpectedly into the side of the ship, and boy was it nice to be on land. From our ship, we could see that Union Island had some beautiful mountains, and me, Nic, Steph, Ryan, Timesha, Tom, and Keiley weren't about to let an opportunity to climb them pass us up.

We started climbing up the mountain, which for the first half of the hike had a road leading up to it, and then the second half, the road had given out. It was clear that every once in a while, cars would make this trek, the grass seeming to favor the dirt on either sides of the tire tracks, but it certainly wasn't a destination spot. As we almost reached the peak, the trail gave out even more, and we had to blaze our own path through some of the foliage in order to make it all the way up to the peak. What greeted us once we had reached the top was kind of amazing! There was a concrete structure with two defunct canons pointed out to different parts of the island, and a funny little gazebo! Not only that, but the view was amazing! We could see the entirety of the airport strip, we could see the Corwith Cramer sitting with all the other smaller ships, we could see the light blue water where the reefs are and could see it encircle part of the island.

It was pretty amazing. Can you even imagine living your whole life not seeing as much of it as you can? I don't really consider myself that adventurous of a person, and usually I like to stick to the path more often walked, but during my time at SEA Semester, I feel like I'm having experiences I wouldn't necessarily choose to have on my own. The closeness I feel to all of my classmates isn't something that's easy to feel in a regular academic setting. While it can be really tough work sometimes to push yourself out of your comfort zone, I'm finding that more often than not, you'll find yourself somewhere incredibly rewarding. It's a huge world out there, it just takes yourself to get out there and see it.


P.S. Love ya Filipa, Mom + Dad, Ayla, Kaileigh, and all my other amazing family members!

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Caribbean Reef Expedition, • Topics: c276  port stops  caribbean.  study abroad • (2) Comments
Previous entry: The Great Blue Yonder    Next entry: Aloft in the Tobago Cays


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 Eileen Steinmetz - Halley's Mom on December 04, 2017

Thanks to all the bloggers for keeping up posted on what’s happening aboard the Corwith Cramer.  You really are a lifeline for the parents (especially those of us who check the blog obsessively looking for news).  I love that you not only detail your activities, but also your experiences with living aboard the ship.  Excellent job!

#2. Posted by Filipa Estrela on December 05, 2017

Oh man Alex, I really hope you took pictures! That mountain top view sounds amazing. I hope we can go back there together someday!



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