SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
April 24, 2017
A Sea Tale
27°44.4’N x 077°46.4’W
Description of location
50nm north of Little Abaco Island, Bahamas
Speed over ground
Weather / Wind
Sunny, 25.5 C, force 3 winds
If you’ve followed along with the C-273 voyage thus far, or have at least read Yage’s post from yesterday, then you might know that the Cramer ran into a bit of rain last night. While Yage was fast asleep in bed, I was on evening watch (1900-0100). Today, the B Watch mate, Finn, told us a tall tale about past work on ships, which is the inspiration for this blog post. In Finn’s words, last night “Could have been worse.”
B Watch (best watch) powered through the night under torrential downpour in force 7 winds. The weather prevented us from sailing and the captain had the Cramer “Hove to,” meaning we were not anchored, but not motoring either. The wind and rain pushed us back a whopping 50nm, essentially the distance we sailed throughout the previous day! The crew tied up extra ropes and put up the “sailor strainer” net around the deck for us to clip our harnesses into as we completed our boat checks above deck, not daring to walk on the leeward side for fear of being eaten by the sea. Back on lookout, we scanned the horizon looking straight into the wind and pelting rain for the ominous lights of cargo boats to come into sight. Eventually, I saw the ship cross our bow just 1nm ahead with visibility at an all time low of 0.2.
As lightening crashed and thunder roared in the distance, the Cramer rolled up and down, with 10 foot waves crashing on the deck through the night as we impatiently waited for C Watch to take the dawn watch. Down below, we couldn’t walk a straight line to save our lives. We had people feeling seasick, bumping into walls, and tumbling around. No space was dry.*
At 0100 C Watch took over and relieved B Watch from the wet and wild roller coaster just to be rocked out of our bunks later that night by the angry sea. As I awoke this morning, the sky was clear, the sun was out, and the sails were full. What a different day. Life changes quick here at sea, and we have to stay on our toes- and clipped in to our harnesses.
Parts of this story may be slightly exaggerated, but what’s the point of being a sailor if you can’t have a few sea tales too?
*Only one flying fish was harmed in the making of this blog post.
P.S. To family and friends, “Hey y’all!” They still haven’t made me walk the plank just yet and we’ll talk soon! I love you!