SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
December 20, 2014
Aphorisms, Clichés, and Quotes
Deck logbook entry for 0700
B Watch (Godfrey [student] & Murray [3rd Mate]) relieves A Watch (Hayward [student] & Leathers [2nd Mate]) on a starboard tack under the tops’l, mainstays’l, and forestays’l. Course ordered by and large, course steered 270degrees.
Winds Force 3 from the east, seas 2 ft from the east, clouds 3/8ths – cumulous.
Lookout posted forward. We are sailing through Drake’s Passage, making 4 knots, en route to Cruz Bay, St John to clear US Customs and then to our anchorage in Francis Bay by mid-afternoon.
Marine Debris Observed last 24hrs (estimate of totals)
Nothing observed during our morning passage.
Sargassum Observed last 24hrs (estimate of totals)
Narrow windrows of Sargassum to port and starboard.
There is a time and a place for everything – and at 0650 this morning the wisdom of these words is slowly dawning upon me. Today I am tasked with the daily blog for cruise C256 – and the bar has been set very high these past many weeks. Dear readers, I do not want to disappoint, but I must admit as I type these words I am a reluctant author. As we approach the final days of our voyage it is only natural to look back upon all that we have accomplished, to reflect upon what we have learned, and to imagine what we are now capable of achieving with the wealth of accumulated experience and wisdom shared on this voyage. Yet, as I ponder past accomplishments of the students I can’t help but to be drawn back into the present. There is still so much to do, so much to experience, even in these waning moments of the cruise, we are far from being finished.
Over the years there have been numerous quotes, clichés and aphorism that capture these very sentiments. For instance, by Jack London, “I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than asleep and permanent as a planet. The proper function of humanity is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them, I shall use my time.” I imagine Jack would not be down below writing in his journal while sailing through Drake’s Passage at dawn!
Another apt quote from Thoreau – “I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately… I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.” YES! Thoreau most certainly understood the distinction between a time for reflection and a time for action!
More recently you find this sense of living in the moment expressed more succinctly such as: “Sleep when you are dead”, or “You only live once – YOLO!”
There is no doubt, the students, voyagers, and crew of C256 have accomplished something truly special on this voyage from Gran Canaria to the Caribbean, but now is still not the time to look back, we still have three glorious days onboard the SSV Corwith Cramer remaining to us before our adventure draws to a close and I intend to use my time wisely.
Have no fear; the students are following this same advice. The ship Watch schedule, the sea, our surroundings require it. This very moment Emma as JWO and A Watch is turning over the deck responsibilities to Zach and B Watch – and my goodness, what a day they have in store for them. We have the British Virgin Islands to our north, the USVIs to our south, shallow banks below, sun drenched clouds above, lines to haul, Sargassum to dip net, the camaraderie of fellow shipmates to enjoy, and a plethora of sights, sounds, smells, and stories to experience.
Today will bring us to Cruz Bay, St John to clear US Customs, and eventually to our anchorage in Francis Bay. I suspect there will be a swim call while at anchor, and the students have presentations to prepare for tomorrow, and after dinner our maritime voyagers will be presenting a play – Moby Dick in 30’ if you can believe it!
It is now 0752 and I have already been informed by three separate crew members that there is so much Sargassum that it just can’t be ignored. So I must leave you dear reader so I too can join the students and crew on deck to ‘live’ these cherished moments that remain to us onboard the Cramer. In closing I will leave you with these humble words of advice: “Whether it be success and gain or loss and pain that color your days, remember this… the joy of life is in living it, so out the door with you to play!”
For that is exactly what I will be doing.