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Current position of the SSV Robert C. Seamans. 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 Robert C. Seamans

December 18, 2016

Final Thoughts

Kayla Wilson, C Watch, Rhodes College

Heading towards Dominica with our local tour guide Seabird (this is also Kirsten’s first selfie!)

Ship's Log

Current Position
17° 52.6’N x 063° 25.2’W

Ship’s Heading & Speed
330°psc at 4kts

Sail Plan
No sails, no motor, just pure wind

Clear, warm, and very windy with sporty seas

Souls on Board

Hey y’all!

It’s the assistant steward here! (for those of you who don’t know, every day a new student gets to assist our steward/goddess Morgan in the galley, so technically the assistant steward could be anyone....anyways, it’s Kayla talking to you right now) I’m sitting in the main saloon watching everyone enjoy the pest-faux pasta Morgan and I just whipped up. You’re probably thinking “what’s this pest-faux pasta? Is that another weird boat term?” Well, yes and no. We wanted to make pesto but soon realized we didn’t have any basil or pine nuts. In fact, we realized we were literally hundreds of miles away from the nearest pine nut. So, in typical Cramer fashion, we found a way to, in the words of Tim Gunn “make it work.” With a little frozen spinach, some cashews, and some help from our handy dandy food processor, we made some delicious pesto-like green mush.

That seems to be how things go around here. We find a way to make things work. Like for example, a few minutes ago, with a big scoop of pest-faux pasta in my mouth, I remembered that I woke up to find a small puddle of rusty-looking liquid outside my bunk this morning. Luckily, our trusty engineers, Alex and Mike, were nearby, also with mouthfuls of pest-faux pasta, so I alerted them to the weird occurrence. Five minutes later I was duct-taping a diaper to the ceiling to stop the orange drippy drips, which were apparently coming from a small leak in the deck after last night’s intense squalls. On land, we might have found ourselves a more permanent solution (perhaps one not located at your nearest Babies-R-Us) but we’re not on land, we’re on the Cramer, where diapers are for overheads.

I should probably talk about the craziness that is switching from sea mode to land mode, then back to sea mode in the span of a few days.  It’s been crazy, but also strangely pretty easy. I guess I’ve learned how to switch back and forth between different modes a lot on this trip. I’ve been switching from deck mode to class mode to sleep mode to science mode several times in any given day.  It wasn’t hard to switch from sea mode to land mode, but it’s been a little difficult to exist in this weird ship/land limbo. I’m still on the ship’s schedule, I’m still doing the same things I’ve been doing for the past month, but my mind is being pulled back to the amazing adventures we had in Dominica a few days ago and pulled forward to the loved ones I’ll get to see in a few short days. Now, every time I set a sail or plot our position or do a boat check, I wonder if it’ll be my last one. I feel myself trying to desperately capture these last precious moments at sea but I know I’ll never be able to recreate them, no matter how many pictures I take or knots I learn how to tie. All I can really do is try to live mindfully in these rare beautiful moments.

Since this is my last blog post, I want to end with a few things I’ve learned on this journey that I’ll take with me back on shore and that might hopefully help y’all understand what this adventure has been for me: 

  1. You can do hard things. Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s being afraid and continuing on anyways.
  2. You can learn something from every single person you meet, you just have to be willing to listen.
  3. Relying on others for help doesn’t make you weak, it makes you lucky to have such supportive friends. 
  4. Thank the people who help you and pass it on when you can.
  5. Take pride in the things you enjoy, especially the dorky things.
  6. Be all there. In the moments when you’re so unbelievably happy you want to cry, in the moments when you’ve never felt more exhausted, in the moments when you and all your problems feel vastly insignificant, in the moments when you don’t even know what you feel. Take it in, all the good, all the bad, all the things that have ever happened to get you to where you are in this very moment, because you belong here, right where you are.

Much love,

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Oceans & Climate, • Topics: c270  life at sea • (1) Comments
Previous entry: Passing Tides, Passing Time    Next entry: Almost to Auckland


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 Jim Bowen on December 20, 2016

Kayla, thank you for a really great and very moving update. I can feel the emotion in your writing - and can’t imagine all the feelings everyone is experiencing as your trip draws rapidly to a close. Thank you for helping us experience some small part of what you’ve been through.

Jim Bowen



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