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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 19, 2019

‘Twas the Night Before Boatsmas

Izzy Slaymaker, Tufts University


Above: C-289 students and crew at Little Bay, Montserrat, with the Corwith Cramer in the background; Below: Kiernan and me snacking with the sun setting over Nevis.

Ship's Log

18˚00.8’N, 64˚22.2’W (approximately 30 miles SE of St. John, USVI)

4.8 KT

Sail Plan
Sailing under the mainstays’l, forstays’l, and tops’l

2/8th cloud cover, cumulus clouds, 27.0˚C, ESE winds Beaufort force 4

ESE sea direction, 3 ft waves


Souls on board

‘Twas the night before Boatsmas and all through the sea,
the Cramer was sailing, ‘cause we had places to be!

The cruise is soon ending, so we all are quite sad,
but happy and grateful for the journey we’ve had.

We sailed the Caribbean from nation to nation,
awaiting each port stop with anticipation.

In St. Croix we spent time in the nice cool shade-a,
until we got underway on the leg to Grenada.

We were anchored at shore when in Montserrat,
but in Antigua, we docked with the nice fancy yachts.

I loved all the islands, but the one I’m most fond of
is none other than the rock called the Kingdom of Redonda.

When the seas got rough, we asked, “What’s the trick
to sooth our poor stomachs and not get seasick?”

When it squalled, it put us at great vulnerability,
so we put on our foulies with low permeability.

We snorkeled around coral reefs to explore
invertebrates, sponges, and fishes galore

we made lab haikus
they’re clever and make us laugh
scientists make art

We counted small critters in the microscope.
Copepods and Myctophids- that’s pretty dope!

And every time there was land we could see,
we switched gears from science to humanities.

Ben’s History class was never a bore,
and on every island, we had a fun tour!

We learned why the volcano zone is exclusive
(let’s just say that the rebar in the ground was obtrusive).

We missed professor Matt ‘till he joined us at sea
to teach Ocean Science and Public Policy.

In Greg’s Leadership class, we learned weakness and strength.
We talked about feedback and teamwork at length.

It wasn’t just classwork, we also learned ‘bout the boat:
how to check it and sail it and keep it afloat.

If you use certain words, sailors don’t know what you said,
like if you say “wall” instead of “bulkhead.”

The soles are the floors and berthing quarters are beds.
But why are showers called showers if bathrooms are heads?

We hauled on the lines and handled the sails,
and learned the location of all the pin rails.

We took turns on the helm, boat check, and lookout,
and as assistant steward we each got to cookout.

We saved a man overboard, Sir Oscar the Buoy,
(although some of his limbs went slightly askewy).

We were often awake to sail all through the night,
but the stars and the cookies made it alright.

No matter how hard you try, you can never explain
the weird jokes you laughed at because of dawn watch brain.

On field day, we cleaned and swabbed the poop deck
so our lovely home wouldn’t look like a wreck.

Our Thanksgiving celebration wasn’t just a charade,
with hand turkeys, dinner, and a real-life parade!

When we went aloft or out on the headrig,
it felt just like flying with Harry’s owl Hedwig.

You can’t trust your shipmates in a game of Boat Clue.
You could be killed with a whisk, molasses, or a haiku!

We sang holiday tunes so loudly and merrily,
but no song is safe from becoming a parody.

Now I’m soaking my foot and writing this poem,
thinking “I love these folks, so I might as well show ‘em.”

So Cody and Natalie, thanks for the food and the white stuff
(but is it sour cream or yogurt? Or marshmallow fluff?)

And Engineer Andrea, your job’s electrifying.
If you were not here, we’d surely be crying.

And thank you to Kersten, Anna, Ella, Jess.
Without you, science would be worse and uhh, hella stress.

I’ll shout from aloft, so everyone can listen,
“the best mates of all are Christine, Jen, and Tristan!”

Thanks Matt and Ben for being fun and academic.
You make history and policy so easy to stomach.

Heather the Chief Scientist and Greg the Captain,
you both work so hard you deserve the aft cabin.

And finally the students, my homies, my peers,
together we’ve made it from Woods Hole to here!

And soon I’ll be back wearing mittens and sweaters,
remembering the time when we all were together.

We’re so very close to S.E.A. graduation,
so I want to say “thank you” and “congratulations!”

And the Cramer exclaimed as we sailed out of sight,
“Merry Boatsmas to all and to all a good night!”

- Izzy Slaymaker, Tufts 2021

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Caribbean Reef Expedition, • Topics: c289  life at sea  study abroad  holiday • (1) 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 Melissa Glanville on December 22, 2019

To C289, Captain,crew and staff, 
It has been a thrill and a privilege to witness your voyage through the blog.  Thank you.
I have come to think of C289 as Earth’s Warrior’s who have just completed boot camp. I am excited for your futures and ours. Happy Holidays to all.
Thomas; We all eagerly await your return.  Especially Bandit, who after continually bounding to the barn after your car can not understand why Marena keeps getting out of it and with no long skinny potatoes.
Large embrace,
Melissa Glanville



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