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SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

March 09, 2017

Where the Wind Takes You

Lukas Stocker, Whitman College

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

The force 9 winds that pushed us into Morant Bay

Ship's Log

Current Location
20 nm South of Santiago de Cuba

Ship’s Heading & Speed
headed 015 degrees per steering compass traveling 6 kts

Sail Plan
sailing on a starboard tack under the mains’l and both stays’ls

force 3 winds, sunny and on the hot side of warm

Souls on Board

Going where the wind takes you took on new meaning this week. 15-20 ft swells aided by force 9 winds made docking in Port Antonio more difficult than docking with the ISS. Captain cited something about trajectories, momentum and wind making entering the harbor too dangerous. I wasn't about to argue as I clung to the railing and looked up at waves.

I awoke in Morant Bay, which is no Port Antonio. There isn't a thread of a tourism industry and the town is quaint compared to the bustle in Port Antonio. SEA Semester advertises off-the-beaten-path adventure but this was next level. It wasn't like we were one of a few tourist groups, we were literally the only tourists. We stuck out pointedly and received more than a few looks. But this is what made Morant Bay so memorable. Jamaica is one of the friendliest islands we've been too and we talked with many locals all asking what the hell we were doing there. "We went where the wind took us."

The following day we were all condensed into two minivans and shuttled to Port Antonio. We saw the Moore Town Cultural Center, swam in a tropical waterfall and ate some inimitable jerk chicken. Although Port Antonio definitely had a lot more going on, I'm glad the weather took us into Morant Bay. I can't name a single thing that made it better than Port Antonio which all had pleasantries Morant Bay did not: white beaches, full-service restaurants and shops. It's the town's lack of amenities combined with friendliness and a healthy dose of spontaneity that makes it so distinguished. Morant Bay is neither a place I would have deliberately visited nor a place I am likely to return. But if I ever find myself in over my head in the Windward Passage again, I know right where I'm going.


A Small Note to My Attentive Parents: Lukas Stocker is alive and well and living in the Caribbean.

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