SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
November 25, 2020
Livin’ large on dock
Stock Island, FL (Dock)
Today was our first step into boat life and my 21st birthday. I was woken up at 0100 for my first watch of the trip with Caroline. It was only an hour long and we were accompanied each step of the way by Megan (our second mate). I was running off of an hour of sleep and was greeted with some light rain, but the experience of sneaking around a sleeping ship, ducking through engine rooms, and pointing out constellations was well worth the initial grogginess. After my watch, I climbed back into my bunk and wrote down some of my thoughts. It's been a crazy, unplanned, hard, and reflective year for me. I never thought that this was how I would be spending my junior fall when I was sent home from school in March, but I am deeply grateful for this opportunity. We are in such a unique situation to be able to leave covid and detach from the world for a while as we sail around the Caribbean. I am so excited to see how my shipmates and I evolve throughout the month.
I was able to fall back asleep after watch and was woken up at 0730 for breakfast (the food is absolutely amazing here btw). After breakfast we did some general cleaning then tried to take in as much information as possible that the crew patiently walked us through. We did safety drills, sciences protocols, rope work and more. At 1600 the crew brought out some cupcakes and everyone sang happy birthday. It feels so special to be surrounded by this group of people who has already supported me onshore and will continue to support each other offshore. I am so excited to learn from the amazing crew and scientists and get a glimpse at the life I hope to work towards. Tomorrow (if the winds allow) we will be leaving dock and heading out to sea. By the end of the day I may be throwing up like most do on their 21st birthdays, but for very different reasons.
Hi this is Ceilidh! Grace hasn't vomited yet but I'm keeping a close eye on our newly legal birthday girl. While I sit on 'Grace watch' I have some time to think. For what feels like the first time since we've stepped foot on the Cramer. Initially I feel like I am living between worlds. Each part of this trip has taken place on a different planet and it feels like we've finally landed on the moon or some other important place. I have never spent time on a ship like the Cramer and learning the language of the crew and the ship itself is overwhelmingly fun and simultaneously foreign. I think for many of us the ocean has felt close to home (be that emotionally and/or physically). However, it feels like there is something new about actually living on it. Maybe part of that is taking a step back from materialism; I love peeking into my bunk throughout the day and remembering that everything I brought onto the ship (and everything I really need) can be kept in such a small space. A sweet return to simplicity is humbling and much needed. Although I have taken little time to digest this transition, it is deeply satisfying to be a small human, carrying a small amount of 'stuff', and to be a part of something bigger than myself. At the end of the day it is comforting to remember that I am a cog in this machine. A cog who, as it turns out, doesn't need so many things to feel like herself.
- Grace, C watch, Colorado College
- Ceilidh, A Watch, Colorado College
P.S from Grace - Mom, Dad, Em, Ben, Grandma and Grandpa I read your letters today and miss you all so much. I'm so glad to have stuff to decorate my bunks with. Hug Guinness, Stella, and Tiger for me. To all my CC friends I hope you celebrated in true 21st style today for me. Caroline, Pat, Matt, Grace, Billy, Nell, Jojo, Chloe, and Kevin keep Ipswich fun till Christmas and you're always welcome to game night in the back room.
P.S from Ceilidh - Zadie, Eila, Mom, and Dad I am dreaming about 171 Whipple and of course 34 Ridges (all the time.but in a good way). CC and Portsmouth girls, I adore you with all my heart and think about you every day. Try to keep it classy while I'm away.
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 shore, 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.