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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

November 08, 2020

Jeff don’t send this in yet it’s not done

Sam Colt-Simonds and Aidan Young, C and A Watch respectively


Above: Logan, elegantly poised like the pirate he is hanging from the rig; Below: Sam removing the remnants of Halloween’s past; Aidan, Sam, Logan, and Harrison presenting two Creature Features simultaneously.

Present Location
20° 44.2’ N x 071° 17.1’ W

Ship’s Heading, Speed and Sail plan
Steering full and by

Winds from the East, force 5, Seas from the East, 4 feet. Occasional squalls

Souls on board

As we dodge squalls and hurricanes left and right, we’ve been thinking more and more about the cyclical nature of this journey. Not only are we on an unrelenting watch cycle that has more or less blended all sense of time, but our moods are also perpetually riding up and down with the daily swell. I’ve never felt so reliant on snacks in my entire life. Captain Sean says when we get back, we’ll miss the nonstop feeding cycle. Oh snack, how I adore you. So munchy so delicious, it’s quite late at night. 

Most of us learned to roll with the motion of the ocean within the first couple weeks, but rolling with this different motion, of days, of the schedule, and of unforeseen circumstances is something we are still getting used to. Time spent on watch seems to drag along like a windless day, yet all the precious time off watch seems to slip by quickly. Despite this, each three day interval before the watch cycle repeats itself again flies by. A fellow watch mate of mine described the number of days remaining in terms of Dawn Watches - meaning 00:30 wakeups - left. Strangely, that number is a better way for me to conceptualize time than the number of days.

The swells of life aboard the Cramer are more pronounced than those of my daily life, especially during quarantine. You may have had a sleep-deprived watch (occasionally a bad thing, but also sometimes some of the wackiest, most memorable times), have messed up a maneuver, got caught in a squall, or had to do a chore you didn’t particularly like. I got squalled today and, for the first time, I thoroughly enjoyed myself amidst the sheeting rain. I think it was because I knew that, like most of the squalls we’ve had recently, it wasn’t going to last long. Even if it were to, there was absolutely nothing to be done about it. All we could do was sing and honk the fog horn in defiance. Not to get too deep, but I think this says a lot about society. Seriously though, ship happens. I may not like it, but when the rain is coming I always end up choosing between a raincoat or a bathing suit. Let me explain: I think that situations can be good or bad dependent on perspective. A squall can be something to hide from, but it can also be a shower. I’m not denying that sometimes the bathing suit is impractical. More often than not, it’s impractical. I still usually pick the raincoat, but I think my time on the boat has made me really appreciate the value of the bathing suit.

We’d like to turn in a different direction. I can’t say for sure whether or not you the reader have seen a pirate movie before, but I’m going to use this metaphor anyways. Imagine the moment where the pirate stands on lookout atop the rig with his hand deftly placed atop his forehead to shade from the luminance of the sunshine, and he projects out to the ship’s crew, ‘land-ho!’. Now take that pirate from your imagination, and replace it with one of your children, and maybe remove the land-ho part, and that’s a pretty accurate image of our recent climbing of the rig. For the parents, do note that in our case safety harnesses are also included in that image, although it takes away from the allure.

We - Sam and Aidan - presented our Creature Feature yesterday on the Atlantic Flying Fish. Personally, I think we would’ve gotten a standing ovation if the deck weren’t so rocky. Oh well, I guess we’ll never know. As we bear closer to Key West, our minds are occupied by ideas of aftermath and expectation. I think most would agree that a part of us never want to leave to face the horrors of reality, that we would simply rather stay aboard as ship’s company for longer than our allotted stay. That being said, we are ready for the comfort of our own homes, and to get off this damn ship. Parents, as you begin to welcome your children back home, give them the quarantine they deserve. This experience is so indescribably taxing that it may take us several days of sleep, tears, loud music, and ice cream to simply be able to find the words to describe it to you. Even then, I’m not really sure that I could ever do it justice, try as I might. We love the Corwith Cramer, and the company aboard, but man, I could really go for some Panda Express.

This has been a disjointed voyage through the minds of two very tired teenage boys, we apologize, but also, you’re welcome. We stand by every single word we’ve written, and challenge the individuals possessing a surplus of time to attempt to decode the secret message hidden within these words. The following numbers may or may not coincide with the secret message within. (03:27, 02:05, 04:04, 03:07, 03:48, 06:32, 04:39, 06:73, 04:42, 05:12)

We are done writing now,
Sam and Aidan

P.S. from Sam: Hey M’Duh! You’ll see this late but happy birthday ya nanner! I love and miss you so so much, and I hope you had a wonderful day of reminder that you’re still somewhere between the ages of 30 and 70. Congratulations! We’re going to make nachos on board in your honor. To the rest of the family and friends reading, keep thinking about me every day, there’s no need to stop. Lots of love and hugs to all, I’ll be back so soon.
Smooches wink

P.S. from Aidan: To everyone at home, I am doing excellent. I am eating a lot of really good food. I’m excited to see—or at least hear from—everyone at home again. Sending love to Mom, Dad, Claire, Theo, and the rest of my family reading the blog. I hope all is well. Contrary to what the above blog may indicate, I really am getting enough sleep. Well, almost enough sleep. To Tommy, if he’s reading this, I’ve just started reading Phaedo again. You should give it a read, I think you’d really like it.

Editor's Note: In response to the coronavirus pandemic, all SEA Semester students, faculty, and crew aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer boarded the ship after strictly isolating on our Woods Hole campus for a minimum of two weeks, and after repeated negative tests for COVID-19. To ensure the health and safety of those onboard, the ship will not conduct any port stops and will remain in coastal waters so that any unlikely medical situations may be resolved quickly.

Previous entry: Reflecting on (almost) 9000 miles    Next entry: S-299, Summer Session


#1. Posted by PK on November 09, 2020

Great blog, Sam and Aidan! Colorful, creative and very entertaining! So far my efforts to decode your secret message have yielded two possibilities: Either you’re sending birthday greetings or you’re calling me a pirate. Or, perhaps, you’re ordering takeout from the middle of the Atlantic. Either way, I’m so glad you’re having fun!

#2. Posted by Mary Iris on November 09, 2020

What a great update, and thanks for the amazing picture of Logan!! Wishing you all the very best for your last several days/last few dawn watches.

#3. Posted by Zia Anna on November 09, 2020

Ship happens!! My favorite post comment! Enjoy your final days on the ocean before returning to your lives on land! Can’t wait to welcome home my Lucia! Continued fun and safe sailing!! Zia Anna

#4. Posted by Leslie Reeves on November 09, 2020

I’ve been repeatedly WOWED by these blogs! The pictures they paint, the stories they tell, the eloquent, thoughtful poetry.  I pretty much smile the whole time I read. But this blog made me laugh the most.  Well done!
Glad everyone is having such an amazing time.

#5. Posted by Martha on November 11, 2020

Loved reading this blog and all the others!!!  I have really enjoyed the insights into daily life and musings on the ship!  Cheers to you all and thanks for letting us tag along! 

Aidan—for your sake, don’t want the adventure to end but we really miss you and can’t wait to see you!  Love from Mom, Dad, Claire and Theo.

#6. Posted by Mark Young on November 12, 2020

Thanks for the fun post.  I’m almost done decoding the secret message — I’m pretty sure PK is right that it is a take-out order from the middle of the Atlantic.
I hope your last week is full of non-stop snacks, swimming, wacky and memorable sleep-deprived watches, standing lookout like a pirate, and — most of all — appreciating the value of the bathing suit.  Here at home we’re awaiting your return with lots of ice cream (just hope Claire doesn’t eat it all in the meantime).

#7. Posted by Catherine McCormick on November 12, 2020

Great blog post! And the first photographic proof that my daughter is actually on board. I challenge anyone to post more pictures of her!



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