SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
February 25, 2014
C251 Web Blog - 25 February 2014
17° 00.7’N x 061° 47.0’W
At anchor in Falmouth Harbor, Antigua
Wind force 3 ExN Temperature 25.4°
We motored under staysails all night to arrive this morning at 0700 at a waypoint three miles off of the entrance to Falmouth Harbor. We had adjusted our course and speed to arrive at first light to a place so few of us have been. We stood in for the anchorage and let go the starboard hook at 0756. Ever since then we have been on anchor watches which are shorter and less strenuous than regular sea watches but are very important never the less. Anchors are funny things and they can grab hold or not as they choose. We put out about five times the amount of anchor chain as there is depth of water so that when the wind blows the boat around the pull is sideways on the flukes hopefully digging them deeper, not ripping it out of the mud. This large radius of chain allows the boat to swing quite a bit even if the anchor is holding. While standing anchor watch the thing we can‘t really watch is the anchor itself, so we take bearings on land objects, set up ranges on the radar and closely monitor the depth to be sure the ship has not moved. There will be a few people up all through the night making sure the ship is safe and we will all take turns of about two hours each.
We then launched the rescue boat and assembled our other small boat which we call the station wagon. In groups of five or six we use these to ferry the crew ashore to a dinghy dock between the two huge marinas in the harbor. There are a stunning number of large yachts in this harbor. The captain went ashore to clear through customs and because none of us could go on land until this was taken care of we took the opportunity to deep clean the ship, an event we euphemistically call field day. The watches went at the accumulated filth with wild abandon and fueled by music and candy which have both been a rarity at sea succeeded at removing large amounts of dirt before the captain returned. After a lunch of sandwiches on homemade bread we mustered for the plan and the rules. In turns everyone in the ships company got to go shore today. No one was disappointed but I will let the students tell you their impressions in the next few days. I wandered over to an area called Nelsons Dockyard which was Admiral Nelsons ship maintenance facility in the 1790s. It has been restored nicely and was very interesting. Mostly it had ice cream, cold soda and a shady tree which were the only three things I was really missing on board.