SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
May 15, 2017
Boat Bucket List
34° 27.9’ N x 066° 18.5’ W
Description of location
North Sargasso Sea
Weather / Wind
Partly cloudy with NW winds, force 6
You have heard about the experiences from all of the students so now I’m going to give you my experience from the perspective of a staff member here aboard the Cramer.
When I told my friends and family that I was going to live on a boat for six weeks back in 2014 they thought I was crazy. When I told them a few months ago that this time it was going to be for two months, they thought I had lost my mind. However, you never really know how special this experience is until you have lived it first-hand. After completing the Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (MBC) program back in 2014, I told myself that I would do anything to get back onto this boat. About two months ago I was able to keep that promise that I had made to myself. I had to defer my grad school acceptance by a semester, but I happily accepted a Sailing Intern position for this year’s MBC trip.
Before meeting back up with Mama Cramer I decided to make a bucket list for things that I wanted to learn/experience during my time as an intern. Today I’m going to share some of the items that I have crossed off this list:
Bucket List Item #1: Learn navigational constellations and be able to find them in the sky.
I love everything about the stars and space so I have always wanted to learn the constellations. Evening watch and dawn watch have given me the perfect opportunity to learn where to find them in the sky. So far I’m confident with Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Scorpio, Orion, and I can find a few planets. This bucket list item is still a work in progress.
Bucket List Item #2: Climb to the top of the main mast.
I am not normally afraid of heights but I find myself being very cautious when at higher elevations. This was very apparent when I was asked to climb to the top of the main mast and be lowered to the bottom in a bosun’s chair (which is really no more than a plank of wood attached to a line--full disclosure, I was also wearing a climbing harness). I got past a mild panic attack mid-way up but succeeded in the end and will hopefully not have to climb that high for a while.
Bucket List Item #3: Watch dolphins from the bow.
Today I was able to cross this off my list and it was one of the most breathtaking things I have ever experienced. A pod of at least 7 dolphins swam along with the Cramer, surfing in between and over the waves. The best part of all was that there was a dolphin calf swimming with its mother. I’m talking about a baby dolphin the size of my forearm. Lots of high-pitched squealing noises could be heard coming from all of us at the front of the boat as we stood in awe, watching the dolphins alongside the boat for a few minutes.
As I cross off these items on my bucket list, it makes me so thankful to have been given the opportunity to come back and work with the amazing students of this year’s MBC trip. As an MBC alum, I cannot express how truly impressed I am with all of the students as they have gained their sea legs, learned how to safely navigate our floating home across the ocean, and have tirelessly completed scientific research both day and night. All of the families of these students should be very proud of the accomplishments made here at sea.
P.S. Mom, Dad, family and friends- I miss you all so much and can’t wait to see you again! Also, didn’t get sea sick this time, WOOOO!