SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
March 20, 2016
Living in the Moment
18° 12.9’ N x 074° 16.2’ W (south of Haiti)
Weather and sail plan @ 1900 Watch Change
Motorsailing on a port tack under a reefed main and staysails steering 045° psc. Winds NE beaufort force 3. Partly cloudy.
Time at sea, on a ship, can be elusive and beguiling. This sentiment has been mentioned in earlier blogs, but today it was especially so. We recognized that today, the sun crossed the equator into the northern hemisphere denoting a celestial changing of the seasons (spring has sprung) and yet for us here in the Caribbean, it seems we are in a perpetual summer, while at the same time we hear word from the home office that New England is expecting snow!
Today also marks one day closer to the end of our voyage onboard the SSV Corwith Cramer. And try as we might to stay present in the moment, you can hear conversations about the ship looking ahead to the days, weeks, and months to come. While some students start trimester classes in less than a week, others plan further travels, their summer vacation starting early. The crew is already tasked with work lists preparing for the next cruise. These realties have crept aboard the ship, a stark realization that soon we will go our separate ways. Despite our different future agendas we all share the desire to stay in touch and keep this sense of community aboard the Cramer alive. Thus it seemed appropriate to consider who among this talented and wonderful class should be tasked with the responsibility to keep us all in touch. I am pleased to announce that Emma Fichtner and Tess Saburn were chosen to share these important responsibilities as a team and have been duly elected as C-264 Class Representatives!
As if the time traveling already described was not enough we decided to spend a majority of class today reflecting upon our many port stops visited over the past five weeks. Today marked the first of three days of student presentations designed to compare and reflect upon all that was observed, experienced and learned during our visits to the USVIs, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Jamaica. Today we heard political and cultural messages portrayed in graffiti by Riley. Sophia compared the development of whale watching on the different islands, while Kathryn discussed storytelling traditions. Tim shared his experiences playing baseball and Emma spoke about African traditions of dance among the islands. Shane discussed the myriad cultural perceptions of insects on each island and Maddie extolled the importance of 'grassroots' movements for the success of marine protected areas. Quite the academic journey these past five weeks, and there is more to learn in the coming days.
Despite all of this looking ahead and looking back, at the end of a long, productive day, students and staff alike took time to convene on deck to witness the unfailing beauty of yet another sunset at sea, each completely absorbed by life in the moment.
To all of our family and friends back home or abroad we wish you a happy sunset.