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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

March 21, 2016

Soaking it All Up

Kathryn Condon, University of Michigan

Sunset from the Foremast

Ship's Log

18° 02.8’ N x 072° 53.4’ W

Souls on Board

As I am sure all who are reading this know, we are currently on day 3 of our 6 day leg between Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. We all expected rough waters, as well as feeling far away from civilization on this leg, but almost the exact opposite has been the case. By staying close to the coast of Haiti we have seen our fair share of land, marine traffic and-with binoculars-some signs of human life, as well as avoided the opposing easterly winds. Unfortunately, staying closer to the coast also means motoring rather than sailing. But as Captain explained, this is the only way to make sure we get to Boca Chica on time.

As for how these past three days aboard the Cramer have been, the only thing I can say is they have been anything-but-ordinary. This morning I was awoken by a princess with a sword (Michelle), who was on watch as Junior Watch Officer and dressed (obviously) appropriately. No students have run us into Haiti, or lost any science equipment yet, and the ship is still in one piece, so I would say all in all we are doing okay. There have definitely been times when I have no idea how to do what was asked of me (Sorry, Eric), but by relying on the rest of my watch we seem to always figure it out, maybe even surprise ourselves with how much we've actually learned. We have all become very comfortable over these past five and a half weeks at handling the sails, plotting fixes and standing at helm. While this has been great for sailing the Cramer during this last leg, it sadly seems to be just in time for the end of our trip.

Today group two presented on the research they have done for their change projects. It was awesome learning from all of my shipmates about things they have devoted this trip towards learning more about; music, tourism, conservation, ecofeminism, agriculture runoff, Taino people and sports in the Caribbean. I hadn't realized just how we learned from our exploration in our port stops over the past 6 weeks!

That being said, the finish is coming closer every day. I also have noticed everyone breaking out their last clean outfit or spending more time outside to get all the sun we can before heading back to our colder homes. Today it seemed like just about everyone was on deck, aloft, or on the bow sprit to watch the sunset. All of the usual complaints about the early mornings or uncomfortable rocking of the boat have seemingly been silenced over the past couple days. Instead we have been trying to take in all that this life at sea has to offer; the lack of sleep and uncomfortableness as well as the beautiful sunrises, wind on our skin and hair and of course- each other. It is strange to think that after 6 weeks of sharing a 134 foot boat with my 32 shipmates, in just four days we will all be moving on to our separate lives, but forever having this indescribable experience in common.

A special shout out goes to all of my shipmates tonight, hope that when you are reading this and in your comfortable homes you can think back to this day and remember all of the enjoyable, weird and painful times that happened aboard this ship.

To all the families and friends who are waiting for us to come home, we are all so excited to see you!  Expect lots of stories but also very, very tired and likely smelly sailors.

And, Nick, the next time I talk to you it will be in person and Dad won't have to make you read this story again. Miss you and I hope Michigan is warm enough for us to go on bike rides pretty soon!

- Kathryn

Previous entry: Sleeping In    Next entry: Seals, Penguins, and Little Critters!


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 Mark Joss on March 22, 2016

Captain Chris and the Corwith Cramer Crew -
    As the time on the ship winds down, I hope that you soak up every last ounce of this experience.  Thinking back on how much you prepared for this, the anticipation of what this experience would feel like, and finding out that it was more than you ever could have imagined!! 
    You have been afforded a wonderful opportunity to experience something very few people will ever get to do!  As we await your return from your adventures, I hope that these last couple of days slowdown so that you have more time to enjoy the journey.

    Captain Chris and your crew, we appreciate how well you have taken care of your students/shipmates!!  We look forward to hearing the stories and living thru the descriptions of all the wonderful things you accomplished!!

    Safe journey home and looking forward to giving Kathryn a hug!!!! 

All the Best!!


#2. Posted by Jodie Condon on March 22, 2016

Hello Captain and Crew,

It’s been wonderful reading about your adventures over the many weeks at sea. Each author has shared from their own unique vantage point, what a great way for us land lubbers to be included. Thank you for making this experience come to life, we too are learning and grateful for this opportunity.
Make the most of your last few days at sea. Enjoy this time, live in the moment. You’ll have plenty of time to reflect and long for your days at sea. We’ve learned many times the events that happen during the end of a story are often the best part and make the story so much sweeter!!

Wishing you all the best!

-Jodie (kath’s mom)

PS. We would love for you to visit Kathryn in Michigan. Beautiful lakes and great sailing!
See you soon Kathryn. XOXO!



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