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SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

March 09, 2015

The Great Wave of Les Saintes

Robert Foley III, St. Michael's College

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Ship's Log

Souls on Board

Ahoy there family & friends!
It's that time again-when you get to catch a glimpse into life aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer, a life not for the faint of heart.  Today is March 9, 2015 and we are sailing across the Dominica channel from the islands of Les Saintes, just off the coast of Guadeloupe, to our next port stop: Dominica!

I was on morning watch today and got to see the sunrise over the "saints" islands where a pivotal battle happened between the French and English.  The English were losing territories in the Caribbean fast in 1782, but secured their place in the West Indies with an unanticipated victory over the French-aided by a shift in wind direction at the last minute giving them the windward advantage which allowed them to split the French fleet and engage without much possibility of return fire.  As we passed by these islands, imagining how it must have been to partake in a battle such as that of Les Saintes, a massive wave swept over the port bow and drenched everyone on deck.  The only soul that stayed dry was Corey as he was out on the bowsprit forward of the splash zone, safe from this 15-foot tall monster spray that had Sargassum flying all over the deck!  After the wave hit we set course to Dominica with the help of some heavy winds and a few big squalls out of the east. 

During our crossing we had art hour (ah) and got to rest our weary legs for a bit while working on a very cool project-telling a story about life on Montserrat from the perspective of someone living on the island.  I decided to write my excerpt on the perspective of a tree during the volcanic eruption of the Soufriere hills on the southern part of the island.  We then drew the first image that came to mind from this writing exercise as well as a few more illustrations drawn by focusing on one of our senses (splashing of waves, smell of lunch) and depicting what we felt.  Once we got to Dominica we had a little trouble with setting our anchor as the wind had picked up to around 40 knots!  After dragging it a few times we finally set her well and were ready to relax and enjoy a swim call in beautiful Prince Rupert's Bay.  We then had a gallery showing of our 3 favorite art pieces that we've done in our journals so far.  We all got dressed up in our Sunday best and enjoyed some cheese and crackers (an amazing treat while aboard a ship) and got to enjoy everyone's incredible drawings-it was quite an elegant affair. 

After the galleria many of us, in our sleep-deprived state, decided to shave a part of our head resulting in some great looking hairstyles!  Nicole and Molly even got in on the action, and I would say look the best of us all.   We are becoming a well-oiled machine and although Dominica is beautiful and I can't wait to set foot on land again, I love how well we work as a team while sailing-all functioning together for a common goal and doing some great sailing, it is an amazing feeling and I can't wait to get back out on the open sea.  Well that's it for now; hope you enjoyed this little hint into our life aboard the Cramer today!

Until next time,
Robert 

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean, • Topics: c257 • (2) Comments

Reactions

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 Becky on March 11, 2015

You left me wanting more….I want to read the stories, view the artwork, watch as hair grows back. Again, I must thank all of you for the brief glimpse into the history of the area (it is called Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean, so I don’t know why I should be surprised).  The blogs have peeked my curiosity and added to my reading list.

Kat, you are right ... the history thrills me.  Love you infinity times infinity….infinity and beyond


#2. Posted by Susan Reardon on March 11, 2015

What a great and descriptive entry, Robert! I truly felt transported to your challenging, yet enchanting world on board the Cramer. It sounds as though you just keep getting more and more effectve as a team and cohesive as a group. Gotta love the new haircuts!

Love to all!


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