SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
February 27, 2014
C251 Web Blog - 27 February 2014
16° 44.1’N 061° 52.0’W
Full and By
Wind-force 5 out of the SE, Seas-4ft from ExSE Cloud Cover- 2, temperature: 25.6°C
In Antigua, the busy season is from the beginning of January to the first week of May. Sailing races and the arrival of yachts of all sizes keep the harbors full while cruise ships bring thousands of tourists to see everything from the scenic beaches to historic sites left over from the British Colonial era. The resident population doubles, triples or quadruples in size as people from Antigua or other Caribbean islands hope to find work in the services sector of Antiguas economy. However, a combination of inflated prices and the seasonality of work make life very complicated for many Antiguans. For example, it is not unusual for Antiguans to hold at least two jobs in order to meet their year-round needs. I also learned from the students who went to St. Johns (the capital city) that there were visible signs of unemployment there. Thus, the busy season in Antigua offers opportunity to some, but poverty is also all around. Fully understanding why this is the case involves additional research and observation—something that I hope I can do on some future visits.
After everyone had returned to the ship for lunch, the students leapt to the lines and made good time setting us free. If I remember correctly, after weighing anchor, we set our sails in no more than twenty minutes. Amazingly, we plan to be able to do this after our next port stop in five: the crew (students and staff) is becoming a more efficient team with each passing day.
I’d like to conclude with an anecdote from last night. We had a great anchor watch (keeping the ship safe and secure through the night in pairs). Time flew by in the blink of an eye. Max kept Katie and me well entertained with vivid recollections of haunted dreams. We also learned that Ballyhoos (a type of fish) go crazy when you shine a light on the water. All is calm and silent Says Max as he turns on his flashlight and lets the beam glide across the water. Now wait, here they go! A few little splashes then dozens as the foot long fish burst from the water squiggling and twisting in the air before they flop back with a splish splash into the misty blue sea.
Furthermore, we tag teamed the anchor bearings and boat checks so that we were done in a few short minutes. Once again, these hearty students are blowing me away. Thanks for all the smooth sailing. All for one and one for all!