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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

December 19, 2020

Finding Kokomo

Megan Dear, C Watch, Mount Holyoke College


Above: Emma, Oliva (Assistant Scientist), Megan, Sarah, Aria, and Aleeya watching sunset; Below: View of Fort Jefferson from Mamma C.

Noon Position
24°36.46’N x 082°47.23’W

Ship Heading

Ship Speed

Taffrail Log
2382 nm (anchored, so not moving)

Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
It is a Beaufort Force 4, wind coming from ENE, will be anchored for two days.

Description of location
We are in the Dry Tortugas National Park anchored off of Fort Jefferson

Marine Mammals Observed last 24hrs
8 dolphins

Sargassum Observed last 24hrs
a few mats

Any other interesting notes

Souls on board

Since getting on the ship, I have kept a running list of every single song I have had stuck in my head. The worst part is that it usually isn’t the whole song, just short phrases of a verse and the chorus and we aren’t able to listen to music, so when a song gets stuck, it’s stuck. If someone is singing a song, people will just join in, and it becomes a ten-person concert in the matter of minutes. Just walking around on deck or below you can always hear a group of students singing Valerie, American Pie, or Kokomo which have become our go-to songs. After almost four weeks living on the ship and singing the same songs over and over, we have started to make parodies and sing about our everyday lives while we do tasks that have become second nature. For example, last week the lab ran all of our nitrate samples and, while doing the processing, made a medley of three different songs from the Sound of Music to explain their feelings of frustration and tiredness doing the runs for over twelve hours. Breaking out into song and creating our own songs has become so normal that I fear when I get off this ship, I will feel like Troy Bolton in the SNL skit during which he is telling the current seniors that it isn’t normal to just break out into song.

While I was cleaning all the dishes from dinner yesterday, I had one of these moments to help me not focus on sticking my hand in the gross water. The line “I just remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad” from “My Favorite Things” in the Sound of Music was in my head which was very fitting. When I realized what was stuck in my head, I actively started thinking about my favorite things on this trip. My favorite watch is afternoon watch because I get to watch the sunset, and everyone is hanging out on deck. I love looking up during night or dawn watch and see the millions of stars covering the sky. Every day on the boat is different; you never know what is going to happen. The endless possibilities make it so easy to get up every morning (or night if it’s a dark day). There could be a pod of dolphins playing in the bow spray and the bioluminescence or it might start down pouring and you just stand in the rain laughing with all your watch mates. I will forever and always love C watch and the many events we have endured together (including the big squall!).

Today was a spectacular day. It started at eight in the morning when I woke up to work on my multiple projects. I took several breaks to go up on deck and see the beautiful sky and waves. C watch was on watch after lunch during which we sailed into the Dry Tortugas and anchored around 1500. Right when we first entered into the national park, I saw a turtle swimming on the surface. The absolute highlight of my day. I was just looking out at the water and saw its cute little head pop up. I am so happy. I love turtles with my entire heart.

Coming into the national park was very interesting because it has been so long since we’ve seen land and now, we have this huge fort off the starboard side of us. There are also boats anchored by us around the fort. It is weird to think that there are other people in this little area with us when the only thing we’ve known is the thirty-three people on this 134 ft ship for so long. The biggest conversation that all of us have had today was what will it be like when this experience ends. It will be hard, and no words will accurately help our loved ones fully understand what we’ve experienced and learned. What I can say now is that “Kokomo” by the Beach Boys accurately represents our time. We sailed around the Florida Keys to escape everything (COVID) and we perfected our chemistry through pH, alkalinity, NO3, and PO4 processing. As this opportunity comes to an end, I keep reminding myself to be happy that it happened and not sad that it is over. It is the final countdown of the most amazing experience of my life, but the sun will always come out tomorrow.

I have found Kokomo.

- Megan Dear, C Watch, Mount Holyoke College ’22

P.S. Happy early birthday Grandpa (or I guess you will be reading this on your bday…). I hope you have a great day. I am sending lots of hugs. Hi Mom, Dad, Philip, and Adam!! I miss you guys a lot! There have been so many things that remind me of you guys. Someone whistled in a very similar way that Dad does and it really messed with my head (I started looking around being really confused). I have seen about three different clouds that look like Stella. I love you all so much!! I hope you guys are staying safe and I’ll see you in a few days.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Caribbean Reef Expedition, • Topics: c295  study abroad  life at sea  gap year • (2) Comments
Previous entry: Reflecting on (almost) 9000 miles    Next entry: S-299, Summer Session


#1. Posted by Paul Berryman on December 20, 2020

Thank you for sharing your story!  Go C Watch!! See you all soon!!  <3

#2. Posted by Juanita Bowman on December 22, 2020

Ahoy singing Seamen!  It was a delight to read your Log.  Love the group picture! 
TO ALL…  Thank you for sharing your fantastic voyage on the Sea Currents.  Each morning while enjoying coffee, I read your postings ..... then, the WashingtonPost. 
You all conveyed the feeling of connection with each other and the Sea,  our precious environment,....and, respect for your senior leadership.
Each posting conveyed the building of confidence in yourselves and your seamen peers.  We applaud you All ! 
May you have fair winds as you sail into your futures. 
The Senior Bowmans.    ( Emma’s proud grandparents)



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