SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
June 20, 2014
C253 Web Blog 20 June 2014
49° 31.7’ N, 023° 25.6’ W
6°C, light breeze, calm seas
Hello landfolks! Greetings from the Corwith Cramer!
At the risk of sounding too nerdy, I’m going to start off by saying that the Cramer reminds me of Hogwarts. Its a moving, changing vessel of hands-on learning, with secret areas in the soles and clever storage spaces in every conceivable place. With only 135 feet to house 35 people and everything they need for a month, the Cramer wastes no space. Each of us gets the chance to explore these nifty areas during our day with Mickey, our onboard engineer. During those watches, Mickey teaches us about the inner workings of the ship, like the water-makers and the engine.
The first time I worked with Mickey, he took me into the area beneath the after-forward head, a small room beneath the bathroom where the grey and black water pumps are. The best part is crawling into the small spaces, getting dust on your knees and grease on your hands, and not having to worry about spiders in the corners. Then we had to climb back out. On the ship, climbing is part of everything, and the trick is knowing which pipes are stable enough to stand on, and which bars will support your weight if you have to hang from one unexpectedly. Even getting into your bunk is an adventure, trying to time the ships roll so you barely have to jump.
Yesterday during morning watch I was the assistant engineer again. Our job was to find out how thick the metal of the mast is. Mickey and I drilled a really really small hole in the hollow metal mast. Drilling the hole was the easy part. Finding out how thick the steel was, when we couldn’t fit a ruler through and had no way of holding something inside the mast, was more difficult. After an extended cookie break, we decided to try bending wire into a hook, and wedging it against the inside of the mast. It worked, and Mickey was able to draw a line on the wire where it stuck out of the mast, so that he could then measure the thickness. It was a beautifully simple, clever technique that made use of the limited resources we have onboard. Theres no Home Depot out here, so no way to get more parts except to improvise them from bits and pieces we have lying around.
Its things like that that make life at sea different from life on land. Our entire world has shrunk to this vessel, but it doesn’t feel cramped. Maybe Ill appreciate the size of doorways more when I get back to land, and maybe Ill be glad of not having to duck my head whenever I sit up in bed.
Hi Mommy and Daddy, Ari and Shani, Nana and Papa, and everyone else back home who has been following this blog, I hope home life isnt too quiet without me. Thank you so much for the card. I’ll call as soon as I get the chance, although it might be two in the morning. I hope thats okay! Shani, good luck on your finals! I know you‘ll do great. *Forehead poke* Love, Anna