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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans
December 20, 2016
We are given to the wind and are scattered
Alongside, Christiansted, St. Croix
The evening air is drenched in sweet tunes pouring from the lips and fingers of our talented crew as students and staff alike swing about the science deck, yet again, entrenched in a jovial contra dance. The dancing and giggling is only briefly and occasionally interrupted by the dregs of a hilariously long game of "mafia" and for short sips of secret recipe swizzle juice and cookies.
We have consumed around 250 meals together, we have accomplished 53 neuston tows and 21 meter net tows, we have gybed more times than I can count, we have learned to work together and apart in an environment where gravity seems unpredictable, and most importantly, we have made it 3,359 nautical miles across the gaping Atlantic Ocean from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria to Christiansted, St. Croix. Tonight we celebrate.
The surface of the celebration displays cloud poetry, aerial arts, singing, guitar strumming, and even "science report karaoke;" though, even through incessant laughing, we know this celebration means so much more. This is the last night we spend together as a crew. In the morning the students will partake in the biggest leap of the program when they step off the gangway of the SSV Corwith Cramer for the very last time. One step seems so small when you live on land, but at sea every step in our 100 feet of walking space is important. This step will cast them to the wind again as wanderers who will be in need of love and support as they readjust to life ashore but who will have stories and fond memories for years and years to come.
As a member of the staff, I sometimes forget the daunting feeling I had just moments before departing this sweet sailing home as a student, not knowing if I would ever return to the ship or to my classmates. I now know that it is the wandering and scattering from that moment that lets us, alumni and sailors, grow and reflect on our new skills, our permanent bond with each other, and most importantly ourselves. A friend of mine recently gave me a quote which I recited to the students tonight, it reads: "We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another day; and no sunrise finds us where sunset left us. Even while the Earth sleeps we travel. We are the seeds of a tenacious plant and it is in our ripeness and our fullness of heart that we are given to the wind and are scattered."
Tomorrow, the wanderers of class C-270 are going to be scattered to the wind with the ripest and fullest of hearts! Though they may have sought the lonelier path in some regards, they will always have each other and they will always have mama Cramer.
Congratulations on sailing across the Atlantic Ocean and congratulations on becoming SEA alumni. May fair winds forever find your sails!
P.S. Staff have families too! Hi Mom, Dad, Carli, Tiffany, Brandon, Abuela, Grammy and Grampy! I'm alive and well! Merry early Christmas!