SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
June 22, 2016
Eight Days Left
49°03.6’N x 24° 21.5’W
Eight days. Eight days until we have crossed this beautiful ocean. Eight days until we reach the beautiful land of Ireland. Eight days until we depart from our friends. Eight days before everyone aboard this ship that has been our home for a month is left with bitter sweet emotions of both expansion and loss.
I suspect that these emotions will be especially strong for the students. It is our first time being part of this sort of community. The experience that this provides is priceless, and I know we are taking advantage of it every step of the way. Living in close quarters with a group of high caliber people, such as the individuals on this ship, is not something that many people have the privilege of experiencing. It is strange for me to even think of us in terms of ‘individuals,’ because we have become such a cohesive group.
As the trip approaches its end, the program is becoming more rigorous. People are furiously writing papers, doing research, and spending hours with their eyes glued to microscopes in order meet project deadlines. This creates an interesting dynamic of work and play. We want to go aloft and see the beauty of the North Atlantic, but we also need to finish the leadership journals by the end of the week. We want to chat with friends when we do not have watch, but we need to identify and catalog things for upcoming scientific presentations. The balancing act of appreciating the situation in which we find ourselves and completing the work we have set out for ourselves is a constant struggle of the best kind.
The two options—work and play—are becoming more polarized as we approach an end to our voyage. Deadlines for work are approaching fast, but we are becoming more and more aware of the lack of time we have to take in our wonderful surroundings.
Today, for example, we saw pilot whales! Everyone ran from sleep, lunch, and watch to see these beautiful animals swim along behind and beside the boat. There were tiny babies and large adults all around us. It was breathtaking. Due to the time everyone took to watch the whales, however, some of the lab work did not get done and my watch was close to being late to out watch change over. It is in moments like these that we become aware of the incredible experience we are having. Balancing watch, work, and recreation is an act worthy of Cirque De Solei, and we are really managing it wonderfully well.
People are beginning to get their JWO and JLO legs under them. I have already had the pleasure of filling both of these positions, the latter of which I experienced today. I have also enjoyed watching and helping others assume the position of JWO, or the ‘jester,’ in our watch. These new positions come with a very different schedule and check list of things to do. The new dynamic of this position makes watch very interesting and gives us a more complete sense of accomplishment at the end of a successful watch. I have no doubt we will have a very similar sense of accomplishment when we step off of the Corwith Cramer in Ireland!
Hey mom, hey dad. Miss all of you! Look forward to coming home soon and being able to touch some green grass!