SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
February 19, 2015
C257 Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean begins!!!!
Alongside the dock in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
The students have all safely arrived onboard, and general ship orientation and safety instruction is well underway! After a brief welcome by our captain Sean Bercaw and an explanation of the Sailing School Vessel (SSV) status of the Corwith Cramer, students were introduced to the professional crew and organized into their respective A, B, and C Watch groups. And so begins their acclimation to the culture, customs, and language onboard a scientific, sailing vessel that will continue for the next six weeks!
With the Corwith Cramer tied securely to a dock in the heart of Puerto de San Juan, the opportunities for observations related to Maritime Studies themes are endless.
Many of our students have been on Puerto Rico for a few days now, and they are already excitedly sharing accounts of their explorations with the ship's professional crew and our scientific observer Randall Richardson from the island of Anguilla. For instance, while we are currently in the heart of a very built-up and marine-oriented commercial nexus for Puerto Rico, just a few short blocks away, many of us have visited some of the sites in Old San Juan. Here, contemporary restaurants and high-end retail establishments catering to the island's visitors are woven into the 16th Century buildings of this walled city that was a transshipment point for Spanish galleons returning to the Iberian Peninsula loaded with precious metals and other valuable goods. There is a remarkable and thought-provoking mix of old and new.
I, for one, eagerly anticipate the discussions, both formally in class and informally over meals and in off-watch hours, of the students' general impressions and thoughtful analyses of all of the different facets of this Caribbean island.
Looking ahead, we have a morning of exploration planned with a faculty-organized tour of historic sites in Old San Juan. I am confident that many exciting details from this outing will be presented in a subsequent blog entry.