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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

February 16, 2019

Snorkeling, singing, and smiling

Lucas Stevens, Berklee College of Music


Above: A green sea turtle and attached remoras sighted during our snorkel survey; Below: Delphine on bow watch and the beautiful islands

Current Location
16° 21.87’ N x 064° 45.00’ W

Ship’s Heading & Speed
Anchored in Francis Bay, St. John.

Sunny, scattered cumulus and cirrus clouds. Hot (30+°C) and humid.

Souls on board

Aside from those of us who had anchor watch this morning, our day began at 0630. After breakfast, chores, and some packing, we launched our two inflatable boats and shuttled everyone to the nearby beach. From there, we walked across the island to Waterlemon Bay where we spotted a reef shark in the shallow water and surveyed a lively reef. While snorkeling, we saw, among others, a ray, turtles (including a “momma and baby”), ctenophores, parrot fish, lots of sea urchins, and a couple of barracuda. My job was to look for yellow-tailed snappers, bar jacks, blue-striped grunts, and barracuda, and to keep a tally of their numbers on a dive slate. I found a few of all four species—especially grunts and jacks.

After our survey, which lasted about an hour, we sat down on the rocks beside our entry point and gobbled down our goldfish and our sandwiches made with home-made (or rather boat-made) bread. We then worked our way back to “Momma Cramer,” arriving at around 1300­. The afternoon was our first extended period of free time on the trip. In the shade of the canvas tied over the quarter-deck, we played ukulele and guitar and sang and laughed and drew in our journals. Some of the girls braided hair and made friendship bracelets, and B watch completed bi-hourly anchor checks, and hourly boat checks and weather observations. Over the rail, we spotted two enormous remoras in the clear, blue Caribbean water and fantasized about the size of whatever they must have been attached to. Finally, the afternoon was capped off beautifully with a delicious meal of boat-made curry, rice, and naan. This evening, C watch is on anchor watch from 1900 until 0100 tomorrow when A watch will take over.

Overall, I’d have to say that the theme of today was the natural beauty of this place; this is what I dreamt of while freezing my socks off in Woods Hole. Indeed, there is a resounding appreciation for the clear blue water, the rolling, hilly islands, and the sprawling skyline, filled with the rare-to-the-Caribbean combination of low-floating, puffy cumulus and high-floating, wispy cirrus clouds. Francis Bay seems to be somewhat off the beaten path and undisturbed by heavily commercialized tourism (i.e. cruise ships) making it truly a wonderful place to visit—and one that I plan on revisiting if I ever can.

- Lucas

P.S. Hi family, I made it St. Croix and found the ship. I was told that I seem to be in my element here on the Cramer. Maybe sailing is in my blood.

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#1. Posted by Grandma Stevens on February 20, 2019

Hi Lucas, and all the crew,

Finally some news for the starving relatives back home!  I remember Francis Bsy and Waterlemon Key welle, we snorkeled there alot.  It sounds like the reef and island have recovered from the 2017 hurricane pretty well.  Happy to hear that all is going well.


#2. Posted by Carl on February 20, 2019

Hi All,  I just came across the blog (while looking for a ship position) and read through the reports.  It sounds great.  Glad to hear Lucas found the ship and is taking to life aboard. I hope any seasickness has passed and the crew is coming together.

#3. Posted by Elizabeth Stevens on February 20, 2019

Oh my gosh, that sounds so beautiful!  Believe it or not, you’ve actually been to Francis Bay when you were little!  Much better being on a boat though.  Can wait to hear all about your extended time at sea.  I have been following the Cramer on my ship app and imagining what its like out there-looks like you’ve been sailing downwind-nice!!  Of course, then it shows where you are on the SEA website.  But the ship finder app shows all of the other ships around you too and the wind/temp.

#4. Posted by Henry Stevens on February 20, 2019

Hey bubby. Nice job with finding all 4 of your target fish, I was really on the edge of my seat while reading that. That’s basically what I do except with birds. Did you play “There’s a hole in the bottom of the sea” with your shipmates? Do you feel like a jacked, musically-inclined version of Jack Sparrow? That’s how I describe you to my friends now so I hope it’s true. Do they let you climb to the crow’s nest? See any birds? See any babes? You guys should play Survivor: Boat edition. When it’s your turn to cook, what do you make? Ramen? It’s sad and cold here, I bet it’s tough for you being in the Caribbean. Alright, cheers mate



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