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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer


February 19, 2014

C251 Web Blog - 19 February 2014

Anne Schulberg, Carleton College

pic

C watch after morning watch with the Narrows between St. John and Tortola in the background

Current location
18° 16.5’‘N x 64°22.8’W
Speed
6 knots
Heading
Course Ordered: Full and Bye
Course Steered: 170°
Weather
wind E, beaufort force 5. Cumulus clouds covering 4/8ths of the sky. Temperature 26°C

I think the past 24 hours have adequately encapsulated the breadth of experiences on this trip thus far. Last night was characteristically gorgeous, with storm clouds illuminated by the sunset. Every day somebody proclaims to have seen the green flash, but I stare at that sun until the last sliver disappears and all I see is spots for a while, so I’‘m not quite buying it. The stars then spilt across the sky and mirrored the bioluminescence on the waves breaking beneath the bow. On lookout, this was a sight to behold and belittled all Minnesotan stargazing which I had regarded so highly.

The night then gave way to a series of squalls looming on the radar and in the increasingly moonlit sky. On the massively dark evening watch, this was intimidating at best. But on watch, you’re responsible for everyone else and must act accordingly. So when ordered to strike the jib, we squared our soaked shoulders and scampered up the bowsprit to furl the downed sail, and in that time while standing above the swelling and spitting sea and below our second squall, I realized that this was the most exciting night of my life thus far.

We all then came to this conclusion and ran the rest of that night like the quasi-sailors we were. I took the helm and stoically stood against the tropical rain, Kyle barked weather reports to anyone who would listen, and Emily worked her lookout post in the most dramatically captain-like pose you could imagine. At the end of the evening, the crew looked no worse for wear and brushed it off as some light weather. But we came in bedraggled and reminiscent of the Deadliest Catch.

I find myself running out of superlatives to describe these experiences so far. Joe, the engineer, noted today that my jaw is more often on the ground than otherwise. For good reason, I’‘d say. On morning watch, I saw flying fish skirting across the waves for the first time, and started carrying on in such a way that I had to be sent away from my spot on the businesslike quarterdeck to quarantine my freak out. This was then followed by a whale fluke sighting which I missed, and thus must assume didn’’t happen for the sake of my morale, along with the approach of the Virgin Islands. We motored through those today, and it seemed that we were gawked at as much as we gawked by passersby on considerably smaller sailboats. But gawk, we did. Standing in a row along the port side, we hoarded binoculars and pointed out which island getaways we would stake as our own.

We then had class and learned about the Leatherback Turtle in the stylings of R. Kelly in a typically ambitious report by fellow students, as well as the political history of the islands we were passing. I then nursed some fresh sunburns (sorry Mom) and took a deep power nap and now here I am in the library. In other words, the last 24 hours were predictably incredible. Finally, I’’d like to note how strange I find it to be moving continuously. As in, I have not stood upon a solid plane since stepping aboard. No one quite impresses upon you how reverently you should look upon solid ground before this thing. I’’ve moved past the seasickness and I can locomote relatively efficiently, but the only way to describe my gait is a lurch. I literally lurch everywhere and call it normal and congratulate myself for all small tasks accomplished this way.

Anyway, I’’ll sign off now so that I can go forth and lurch around the galley and await dinner, but I wish I could share the thousand more details of this absurd and astounding last few days. Upon asking A Watch if they’d like a shout out to their moms, they requested a collective one. So A Watch says hello and sends their love, moms. Much love and thoughts from the 31 inhabitants of Cramer, as always.

Best,
Anne

Specific shoutouts:
S, K & M: The ginger dawn rises in the east. And I’’ve been wearing sunscreen.
HI MOM LOVE YOU love, Emily
Hi Mom, miss me yet? Your son, Colby

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: c251 • (0) Comments

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