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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

August 13, 2015

The Music of SEA; On SSV Cramer, we call these “Tubas”

Tom Clark, W-26, Overseer

Corwith Cramer

The Music of SEA-Here are the Tubas

Ship's Log

Noon Position
36’29.7N, 01’58.3 W

Approximately 37 miles S.E. of Cartagena, on port tack.


8.9 knots

Taffrail Log

Clear skies, 15-18 knots of westerly breeze

Sail Plan
Sailing briskly under Main, Staysail, Course, Topsail and Raffee

SEA attracts all kinds of talented and creative people who delight in coming up with names for just about everything. The industrial stove is named "Roxy", short for Roxanne. The soon to be replaced hot water heater is named Lola, no one seems to know why. The sleeping quarters are named "Sleepy Hollow" , "Squalor" and "42nd Street".  Why is "42nd St"? the name for a crew cabin on a  ship at sea, thousands of miles from Broadway? Don't tell me, let me guess.42' N is the approximate Latitude of Home Base, Woods Hole, MA! Then there is supply locker called "Jakes Corner", and a Bos'n locker  known as "Louie Land". Offshore skippers who love to sail to Bermuda lash in long wires from Stem to Stern to clip their harnesses to in heavy weather, called "jack lines", on the Cramer, we call them "dog runs".  The huge ventilating scoops shown above are more commonly called "Dorades", except on the Cramer, we call them "Tubas"!

When The Corwith Cramer was launched in 1988, Rod Stephens, of the highly regarded design firm of Sparkman and Stephens had been the Chairman of the New Ship Committee. The massive air scoops, designed by Rod, initially for his own boat, are very effective at funneling fresh air down below.  After Rod and his brother Olin Stephens won the Newport to Bermuda Race with their boat DORADE in the 1930's, the distinctive huge air scoops became widely known as "Dorades". After Westward, I never would have found myself on the same race boat, and same watch as Rod Stephens to hear these stories, if it had not been for my background in Seamanship, Nautical Science and Navigation, all of which I learned on RV Westward, W-26.

It has been  40 years since that first voyage with S.E.A. In addition to my time at sea on Westward, W-26 long lining and tagging sharks for the US Fisheries department.  I have had the delight of sailing 5 additional short segments with S.E.A., this adventure;  C261A, delivering the Corwith Cramer to Mallorca Spain, being the fifth. The other 4 segments, all within the last 10 years, were with three of my 4 daughters; Haley, Whitney, Carrie and Meredith Clark. In just TWO weeks from now, Meredith will be trekking to Woods Hole to begin the shore component of the Sustainability in Polynesian Cultures and Ecosystems SEA Semester. Her passage begins in American Samoa, then Fiji and finally New Zealand!

Standing bow watch headed for the Spanish port of Palma, Mallorca, I was reminded of how SEA Vessels have changed and enriched so many lives, engaging 5,000 or more students for 261 Cruise Tracks, came into being. The Corwith Cramer, named after SEA founder and longtime President; Cory Cramer, has the heart and soul of the man who had the vision to create S.E.A in 1971, to nurture it in its infancy and to grow it to a point where others would join in to complete his important life work.

I knew Corwith Cramer, Cory Cramer was a friend to many in the educational, maritime and yachting communities. That is how SEA was built. We could ALL be like Cory Cramer: Cory had vision, determination and could inspire people to be part of his dream. But most importantly, Cory Cramer had PASSION in what he was doing, and so can we all!

On my 6 voyages, first the RV Westward in 1975, then the SSV Corwith Cramer in 2004, 2010, 2015, the SSV Robert C. Seamans, in 2005, 2007, I am struck with the consistency of the many, many things SEA has always done so well; well thought out procedures for safety and handling emergencies, rituals and routines for the comfort of all and the enjoyment of shipboard living, but most of all, I am always struck with the enthusiasm and PASSION of the crew and ships company, to do the best they can do for the Ship, for themselves, for their shipmates and for the SEA community.

Let the band play on!

Categories: Corwith Cramer, • Topics: yard period  sailing • (0) Comments
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