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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer


March 12, 2015

Old Friends and New

Molly Disbrow, Ohio Wesleyan University

Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Above: Trafalgar Falls with my shipmates Sarah and Emily. Below: Maddy and me over the years.

Location
Anchored in Prince Rupert’s Bay, Portsmouth Dominica

Ship Heading
80 degrees

Taffrail Log
1084.1

Weather
Light winds calm and mostly clear

Souls on Board

Wow. It's already March 12th. This trip is flying by! Okay. So. March 12th. The Corwith Cramer is currently anchored in the port of Portsmouth, Dominica. It is a beautiful day in the Caribbean! I woke up at 0530 and went on a run with Captain Sean, and my wonderful shipmates Emily, Sarah, speedy Rob and Matt. After our run we had a delicious breakfast! Thank you Becky! Later that morning I learned that I was assigned to be Assistant Steward for this day in port! Yay! Today was the perfect day for me to be the Assistant Steward because I needed to stay busy, keep my mind preoccupied, because today is my best best best friend's birthday.  I knew if I didn't stay busy I would miss her and my home and risk spoiling this beautiful day.

While in port we continue to keep Watch on the ship so while one group of students explores the island some of us remain onboard and keep our home safe.  Yesterday, I had my chance to scout out Dominica which I will reflect upon a bit later, but first, what did I do today to stay so busy?   On the Cramer we carried out our daily duties of cleaning and fixing parts of the ship, boat checks and anchor bearings, SCIENCE, and working on our journals, etc. If you haven't caught on from the earlier blogs there are a so many things to do on the ship.

I personally was helping Becky prepare meals (which by the way means - 3 meals and 3 snacks each day, just saying.) Unfortunately, we didn't have grapes for dinner (inside joke) but we did have pizza bagels and salad! Yum! But whenever I had a little break from the Galley, I would work on assignments or help my shipmates with other projects. As I worked, my mind would wander to home. I miss it so much. Especially today, March 12th, the day my best friend Madeline Kate McSweeney was born. Every year, Maddy and I would go out to breakfast or lunch and would enjoy each other's company and chat about the good and bad times. Some of my favorite memories are celebrating Maddy's birthday - because they were simple and fun.  Part of me wishes I could be home for another birthday with Maddy; I feel like I am missing out on something big at home. But really, I am exactly where I need to be. If I wasn't right here, right now, I would be missing out on something huge! I've grown so much throughout this trip. I am constantly being pushed out of my comfort zone, constantly challenged to adjust to new situations, try new things, and consider new perspectives and ideas.

Throughout these endless changes, I've wiped away a lot of my insecurities and gained confidence in myself. 

Throughout my life I've had a hard time understanding how to separate myself from the situation. I always believed that it was my fault when I faced a negative situation. But actually we are never fully in control of our circumstances and the only thing you can do is control how you react or respond to any given situation. Though I believe you "reap what you sow" but even if you "sow" positive things, sometimes, negative things are bound to happen. But you know what, everything happens for a reason. As I was failing to find the recipe for no bake cookies, Captain Sean explained to me that "people get themselves into trouble because they are trying really hard to make plan A work when plan B might be better." We face this dilemma a lot on the Cramer. Pending on the wind, weather, and sea conditions of the moment we must adjust our best laid plans and make our final decisions based on ship safety. For example, take last Tuesday!

Tuesday was the day for the Boiling Lake Hike on Dominica, but unfortunately when we arrived that morning we were faced with gale force winds!  Gale force means winds that reach up to 40 knots and we saw gusts reaching 48 knots which made it difficult to anchor the Cramer in Prince Rupert Bay. Consequently, on my day off we could not take the hike.  But instead we ended up on a completely different adventure and we visited the capital of Roseau and explored Trafalgar Falls!

At Trafalgar Falls, we had to climb a lot of slippery huge rocks that might have been a little dangerous but everyone was fine so it was 'no biggy'. It was a challenge. At first we split up to see which way was the easiest to climb but honestly there was no easy way. But you know what they say; "anything in this world that is easy is not worth having."  And finally, after much scrambling - there it was, a stunning waterfall.  As I stood there on that last rock, looking out at the tropical rainforest of Dominica, I craved the company of my friends and family. I missed and still miss them so much. I desperately wished that I could have experienced this beautiful waterfall with them. But then I thought I'm so blessed to be able to miss my family and friends. I'm so blessed to have people back at home supporting me. Some people standing with me in this national park might not have the luxury of having a family's support or even a family. I quickly took a picture of the scene so when I would look back at it, I would remember this moment. Remember how I felt looking at this waterfall.

Remember this feeling of sanctuary. I was so blessed to swim in that cool pool created by beautiful nature with the company of my shipmates. I am so blessed to be sailing the deep blue sea with my shipmates and crew. They are each good-hearted remarkable individuals. And I'm so lucky to call them my close friends.

Happy Birthday Madeline Kate McSweeney! I am so lucky to have you as my best friend! I miss you more than you could possibly imagine and I can't wait to see your beautiful face again. Love you, and I hope you had a fabulous birthday!

Oh and by the way mom and dad. I shaved one side of my head. That's all. I love you!

- Molly

Reactions

#1. Posted by Becky on March 16, 2015

Captain Sean seems like a very wise man.

With the exception of my daughter, of course, none of you know me. But I have to let you know, I hang on every word that all of you are writing. You are not in this alone and I am sure the wide range of emotions reflected in your blogs is a common thread that binds you all.

Thank you Molly. It’s nice to know that we (at home) are missed too.

Kats Mamma


#2. Posted by Terri on March 17, 2015

Molly you are a wise soul. I enjoyed reading your blog (and all your fellow shipmates blogs ) and I love hearing of your adventures and how you have grown. We miss you very much, and we are so proud of you. Keep up the good work.  Love you! Mom


#3. Posted by Kim Disbrow on March 23, 2015

Sounds like you are having lots of fun and doing very well your family is jealous and happy for you birthdays can be celebrated any time


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