SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
December 17, 2019
And Now It’s Time to Play… “Who Wants to Be a Mega-Yacht Deckhand?”!
17˚ 00’N, 61˚ 46’W (Docked at Falmouth Harbour, Antigua)
28.1C, sunny and clear skies, light (force 2) winds from ESE
Hello family, friends, and prospective students stalking the blogs! I am Rikki Borkowski, a student of the class of C-289! I have written once before during the beginning of our sea component and here I am again as we begin to finish up our semester.
This morning, I awoke to chatter in the main salon, as the first seating of breakfast dug into their breakfast burritos (it’s Taco Tuesday!). Everyone was excited to spend a full day ashore in Antigua and get to know more about this island, outside of the mega-yacht marina we are docked in. Although the yachts are beautiful and, dare I say, mystifying, we all want to know a little bit more about how and why this island is different from the previous ones we’ve visited.
But, before we could skip around on solid ground, we needed to finish cleaning our beloved Cramer! After the delicious breakfast of fried eggs, refried beans, breakfast potatoes, salsa, tortillas, cheese, and… sour cream(?), we were ready to begin our field day part two. If you are not familiar, field day is the one day (or two days) a week we designate to cleaning those deepest, darkest corners of the ship that are not part of our daily chores. We all worked to make the Cramer look ship shape, which was especially important, as we were surrounded by spotless yachts. No field day would be complete without a superior playlist and we were heavily reliant on the musical genius of the Backstreet Boys, Zac Brown Band, and Katy Perry for inspiration during out cleaning process. Soon, the cleaning frenzy came to an end and it was time to celebrate Jamie’s twenty-second birthday!! We had ice cream at 0920 in the morning to celebrate!
Shortly after the end of field day, we prepared to go ashore with our maritime studies professors, Ben and Matt. It was a short walk from the boat to our destination, English Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard. This facility played a key role in the British Navy’s ability to protect the Caribbean sugar economy, as well as the Atlantic Ocean, from France during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The site is incredibly well protected and it is impossible to see how many ships are docked or anchored there from outside the harbor. This made it an enviable location from which to deploy British naval forces. We explored the museum, which documented the dockyard’s use and construction, as well as some other general Antiguan history. The largest takeaway has to be that Admiral Horatio Nelson was quite the man, serving in the Napoleonic wars, battling malaria and yellow fever, losing and eye, an arm, and finally his life. The dockyard presented a particularly British-sided representation of what life was like in Antigua during this time, which made it necessary to bear in mind other realities, like the slave trade taking place throughout the Caribbean during the eighteenth century.
After spending some time around the museum and dockyard, we were on to the next adventure… a hike! The path brought us to a fort, then up a small mountain where there were some spectacular views, and finally to a beautiful beach. We saw many fun things on our hike including cacti, air plants, a small herd of goats, and miles upon miles of ocean. It was so exciting to be able to identify some of the plants we observed from the side of the trail, as we had learned about tem in St. Croix during our stay at Discovery Grove.
We finally made it to the beach, a little bit sweaty and a little bit parched. As soon as we arrived to the beach, we were leaping and bounding to get in the water. There were some less mega, still very cool looking boats anchored out from this beach that made the perfect foreground against the hills of Antigua. We swam for quite a while before exploring the beach for shells and coral skeletons! Again, it’s so cool to be able to identify so much of what we find,
After a full day of museum going, beach bumming, and shell scouring, we were ready to come back to the boat, shower, and head out for dinner. We had pizza at a restaurant close to the marina and enjoyed our liberty for the night before heading back to the Cramer. This day was one for the books. From the most picturesque hike, to the hours of swimming in the water, I think we can all agree that Jamie could consider himself quite lucky for a birthday like that. This day is one I will certainly remember and will certainly look back on fondly for years to come.
- Rikki Borkowski, Colgate University