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Sea Education Association | SEA Currents

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer



I am the Sea and the Sea is Me

Erik Shook, University of Tulsa
Ocean Exploration

Sunset Bequeaths Stars and Stars Bequeath Serenity

16° 13.0’ N x 055° 30.1’ W

Description of location
I can see the line where the sky meets the sea

180° per steering compass

5 knots

Weather / Wind
East Wind (Trade winds) Force 4, Sea SE 2 Ft


Souls on Board

I could tell you your life is fine the way it is. I could tell you the niche you’ve found for yourself within society is all you need. The sounds of the city, suburbia, and the chatter you hear at work every day is enough. I could tell you these things but then I would be a liar. It is a fool’s errand to attempt a description worthy of life at sea. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but there isn’t a photographer with enough skill to capture what it means to be here.

You can’t know what it is to stand at the helm, knowing you are holding the keys to the world that you and your crew live within. You can’t know the serenity of lookout at the bow during dawn watch, when the world splits in two. The universe opening up above you while the ocean spreads out beneath. To feel so small as you watch the bioluminescence in the water compete with the stars above as to who can shine the brightest. Can you claim to be significant in the face of an ocean who has been alive longer than life itself? It is a puzzling moment to realize that you might mean so little. Then at the same time pondering (as I had just finished reading The Alchemist), no matter what you believe, that the creation of this elemental force and your own life story are written by the same hand.

I urge you to find your way out here. No matter what fears or commitments you might see as keeping you from it. Have you sang to the ocean and in return it decorated the sky for you? Has it orchestrated its own symphony of waves and wind just for you, and just when you think it couldn’t be better the Cramer herself bounces the sound back from the Jib sail, surrounding you with the greatest piece of music ever played? I have been alone with the ocean and we have spoken.

Corwith Cramer sail me safely home. Or is this my home?

- Erik 

PS: To everyone on land I will return soon. I’ll have stories to share. Excited for a bit of cold weather, as its still Summerville out here.

Categories: Corwith Cramer,Ocean Exploration, • Topics: c275  life at sea  study abroad • (5) Comments
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#1. Posted by Pamela Hanrahan on November 10, 2017

King Melchizedek tells Santiago that, “when you really want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true.”
“The Alchemist”  Paulo Coelho

“The Soul of the World”

  Beautifully written

#2. Posted by Beth Reuman on November 10, 2017

Erik, your reflective musings capture so elegantly the internal transformation of the SEA Semester experience.  Thanks for sharing the majestic symphony with us.

#3. Posted by Hannah on November 11, 2017

Can’t wait to hear all of your stories, Erik! Love you!

#4. Posted by Tim Shook on November 12, 2017

Erik,  I am speechless!! And you know how unusual that is.  Beautiful expression of your intersection with the sea. Can’t wait to hear your stories (songs) of encounters and experiences. Love you!  Dad

#5. Posted by Vicki Shook on November 14, 2017

Wow!  Love Mom



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