SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
March 28, 2015
Sailing through the Windward Passage
18°21.8’N x 064° 44.9’W
Taffrail Log (nm)
Weather / Wind / Sail Plan
clear skies, winds out of the south, 5-10 knots, seas SxE at 1 foot, Sailing under the Mainsail, the topsail, the Mainstays’l and the Forestays’l
Hello from the Cramer,
Lillian here, writing the last student blog for C-257! Today was a wicked fun day for all of us. We started this morning with some bunk loving. That’s not really what it sounds like… As we are fast making our approach to the end of our days on the Cramer, we have to look back on the spaces we’ve occupied for six weeks. Our bunks, no matter how hard we tried, never really stayed clean. So today, we pulled out all our stuff, clothes, shoes, harnesses, backpacks, towels, pillows, books, laptops, random items we didn’t know we had and started our packing process. The main saloon looked like someone had detonated a bomb. Anyway, that left us free to start FIELD DAY! It’s a favorite of ours on board this ship, when we take a break from sailing, science and academic work to give the ship some love.
It is always starts with a little bit of a pump-up, thank you Marissa, and today we had the class favorite MINGLE! Ask a C-257 member about how you play, all you need to know is 1) it’s a lot of fun and a little intense 2) Maia and Becky both looked a little traumatized when they got ‘out’ 3) James and Colin were declared the winners after a very dramatic game! Field day commenced and it was made a whole lot better by the addition of music. There were plenty of throw backs, and a particular fond memory from today was watching one of our deckhands, Sarah, and James dance to Single Ladies while fire-lining pots and pans to the galley. Once the boat was all clean, and we were pretty dirty, it was time for my personal favorite activity, SWIM CALL!
Everyone enjoyed our last swim call. We were anchored in Francis Bay in St. John, which makes for one of the most breathtaking views. Most of us took the opportunity to jump off the bow sprit of the Cramer one last time. After swim call and a tasty lunch, students were given the afternoon off while the crew stood watch to have some free time. Most of us tied Turks Heads to our ankles or wrists, which we hope to have for a very long time. Some of us visited a neighboring tall ship called Mystic, and still others took some time to relax in the main saloon. Around 1530 we got underway, sailing off the anchor under the direction of James, our current Junior Watch Officer.
After we completed our final set of fire, man overboard and abandon ship drills, we began making our way through the Windward Passage, towards the exit of the Virgin Islands and straight on towards Puerto Rico. We should be arriving in San Juan some time tomorrow afternoon, where we will be alongside near the cruise ship piers for the night. Monday morning, we will, sadly, be departing our beloved Cramer.
I would like to take a moment to reflect. We have sailed almost 2,000 nautical miles (by the time we reach San Juan it will be over 2,000 nm). We have learned so much in these last few weeks, and not just about tall ships and sailing and science. We have learned more about ourselves I think than anything else. For example, I get violently seasick. I didn’t know that before this trip. The things we learned on this trip will translate throughout all aspects of our lives. Our experience here has been incredible. In C Watch’s last watch meeting, we were discussing (under a beautiful starry night sky by the way) that until you actually complete a program like this, you really have NO idea what the participants go through.
Yes, we write this blog and we will tell stories and explain our lives here, but it’s difficult to describe what we actually go through. We are, at any given point in the day, setting or striking sails, deploying or retrieving science gear, completing academic work, planning for our next watch, helping cook for 32 people, cleaning the soles of the ship, walking at an angle, logging everything we do, and then thinking of doing it all over again. We will try hard to give our friends and family on land our best descriptions of our times here, but I think there will be a special bond between the students and crew and faculty of C-257, because together we fought our way through this whirlwind six week experience and somehow came out feeling more alive than when we started and still liking everyone. One of my favorite comments made on this trip was made by our wonderful steward Becky when she
was giving haircuts to some of us in Dominica: “Sometimes I wonder before students come aboard if I’ll like them, and then I’m shaving their heads.”
We have made friends for life on board this vessel and made memories during our highest and lowest moments together. I know that C-257 will always have some sort of bond as we disperse and head into the next part of our lives. Some of us are headed straight for the states on Monday with school starting the next day, while others are headed for another Caribbean adventure in St. Croix. However, wherever our winds take us, we will always have the Cramer and each other. We will see everyone soon!
Ta Ta For Now,
On a personal note: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I miss you so much and am sad I can’t be with you on your birthday but I’ll be home soon and we can go eat oysters and catch up on NCIS:LA together!