SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
June 28, 2015
Lifelong Dream Come True
51° 40.2’N x 007° 44.5’W
In the Celtic Sea, SE of Ireland. Scattered clouds. WSW Force 6 winds. WSW seas 6 feet. Sailing under the stay’sl, jib, and mains’l.
Marine Mammals Observed last 48hrs (estimate of totals)
Sargassum Observed last 24hrs (estimate of totals)
Saturday (27 June) dawned cool and grey with Force 5 winds, as we closed back toward the Irish Coast to view Fastnet Rock and Light during daylight hours. An amazing sight to see the huge structure perched atop a jagged rock, miles out to sea and surrounded—even in fine weather—by pounding surf. Cap took the helm to give all a great visual experience. As the evening wore on toward night, winds increased to force 7+ with heavy rain, making for a wet and wild evening watch, followed by a restful sleep.
Sunday (28 June) morning found us under a sunny sky and favorable Force 5 winds. At midday we were met on the open sea by the Maine Maritime Academy training ship, “State of Maine”, and we exchanged friendly waves across ½ mile of water. Knowing that many Skowhegan, Maine students attend MMA, it seems likely that I know one or more aboard, and may even have been their Pediatrician growing up. Small world!
Having met “Cramer” for the first time at Lameshur Bay, St. John, USVI this past January, where my wife Betty Anne (hello my love!) and I were volunteering, I made it a goal to serve aboard, participating as fully as possible and learning as much about operating this ship as I could. My previous closest approach to learning a square-rigger was reading all of the “Master and Commander” books (3 times!) and all of Horatio Hornblower. With much appreciated help and encouragement from Audrey Meyer and Virginia Land Maguire, my lifelong dream of really going to sea was realized. My thanks to both forever.
SAILING A TALL SHIP
WHITE SAILS UNDER BLUE SKY
A GREAT DREAM FULFILLED
I never appreciated the poetic form, Haiku, before this trip, but it has been a fun challenge to express in this condensed form a thought or image. I have contributed a few that I composed to previous blogs, and include a selected few here.
With the patient teaching of Captain Rick Miller, several of us have been able to get a fairly good grip on the complexities of Celestial Navigation. I had tried several times on land to learn this age-old art form, but was unable to succeed on my own.
LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE
TAKES US SAFELY HOME
The photo shown is of me with the Albacore Tuna we caught--and ate—a week or so ago. Fabulous for supper the next day.
“FISH ON!” HAILS THE HELM
CAP AT THE WHEEL SLOWS THE SHIP
We have seen scores of Long-Finned Pilot Whales and hundreds of dolphins. Yesterday’s treat was a close up of a Basking Shark, swimming lazily along our starboard side. As we approached shore, our accompanying bird life changed from a predominance of Shearwaters and Storm Petrels, followed by the reappearance of Northern Fulmars, and now Gannets galore.
I close by sending my love to Betty Anne, and heartfelt thanks for giving me the gift of this voyage; to our sons Tim, Greg (I did NOT forget your birthday—check my journal!) and Xand; our sons’ life partners Julie, Jess and Alex; and our wonderful grandkids, Henry, Harper and Mackerel –oh, I have learned some more verses to “Grandfather’s Clock”. See you soon for hugs and kisses. And, as every evening (when it is not pouring rain!)
SUNSET ON THE OCEAN
DAYLIGHT SLOWLY FADES AWAY
PLANETS, STARS APPEAR