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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans
March 17, 2016
A Hike in Jamaica
Errol Flynn Marina, Port Antonio Jamaica
Jamaica has definitely been a favorite port stop. The beauty of this Caribbean island is not over rated. On our student exploration day, a small group broke off, traversing through the Blue Mountains, hiking to caves and waterfalls and rafting across the Rio Grande with knowledgeable, local guide Rufus Thaxter. If the backdrop of misty green mountains, and dipping valleys with small farms wasn't breathtaking enough we saw an abundance of interesting native plants. We saw a Cocoa tree with ripe fruit, a coffee bush, banana and plantain trees, cinnamon trees, pineapples, medicinal plants, sugar cane and many others. To say the least, we were sustained along our hike by many delicious treats. Our hike led us to a deep cave which we of course explored.
It had 10 different chambers with mighty stalactites hanging from the cathedral-esc ceiling. As we crawled down, flashlights scanning our new mysterious surroundings, bats would occasionally swoop low. We were on an epic adventure. When we reached the back of the cave there was a pool that was feed by a nearby waterfall and we went splashing around in the cold clear water. When we crawled out of the cave we rested at a waterfall with water so clean you could drink it. Our adventure was grand but as always it was nice to return to our home on the Corwith Cramer. With journal due dates looming, and preparation for the next stage of watch, junior watch officer, ahead of us the boat is buzzing with activity.
Junior Watch Officer, popularly called J-Wo, assigns much of the responsibility of sailing the Cramer on the students. There is an assigned student once each watch and they are in charge of figuring out how the ship needs to sail to deploy the science equipment, setting sails, and making sure the boat is headed where we want to go. There is one student in charge for both the lab and the deck. It is an exciting and nerve racking new phase and gives us a chance to shine and show off what we have learned.
As we leave Jamaica and set sail for Boca Chica in The Dominican Republic many of us reminisce about the adventures we have had and the great friends we have met. The adventure isn't over yet though, we still have six more days and I will make sure to savor every moment.
P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY WONDERFUL FATHER! I love you very much and have been thinking about you a great deal today. I hope your day was great and wish I was there to spend it with you. Not to worry - we can have a belated celebration in a week!