SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
Soaking it All Up
18° 02.8’ N x 072° 53.4’ W
As I am sure all who are reading this know, we are currently on day 3 of our 6 day leg between Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. We all expected rough waters, as well as feeling far away from civilization on this leg, but almost the exact opposite has been the case. By staying close to the coast of Haiti we have seen our fair share of land, marine traffic and-with binoculars-some signs of human life, as well as avoided the opposing easterly winds. Unfortunately, staying closer to the coast also means motoring rather than sailing. But as Captain explained, this is the only way to make sure we get to Boca Chica on time.
As for how these past three days aboard the Cramer have been, the only thing I can say is they have been anything-but-ordinary. This morning I was awoken by a princess with a sword (Michelle), who was on watch as Junior Watch Officer and dressed (obviously) appropriately. No students have run us into Haiti, or lost any science equipment yet, and the ship is still in one piece, so I would say all in all we are doing okay. There have definitely been times when I have no idea how to do what was asked of me (Sorry, Eric), but by relying on the rest of my watch we seem to always figure it out, maybe even surprise ourselves with how much we've actually learned. We have all become very comfortable over these past five and a half weeks at handling the sails, plotting fixes and standing at helm. While this has been great for sailing the Cramer during this last leg, it sadly seems to be just in time for the end of our trip.
Today group two presented on the research they have done for their change projects. It was awesome learning from all of my shipmates about things they have devoted this trip towards learning more about; music, tourism, conservation, ecofeminism, agriculture runoff, Taino people and sports in the Caribbean. I hadn't realized just how we learned from our exploration in our port stops over the past 6 weeks!
That being said, the finish is coming closer every day. I also have noticed everyone breaking out their last clean outfit or spending more time outside to get all the sun we can before heading back to our colder homes. Today it seemed like just about everyone was on deck, aloft, or on the bow sprit to watch the sunset. All of the usual complaints about the early mornings or uncomfortable rocking of the boat have seemingly been silenced over the past couple days. Instead we have been trying to take in all that this life at sea has to offer; the lack of sleep and uncomfortableness as well as the beautiful sunrises, wind on our skin and hair and of course- each other. It is strange to think that after 6 weeks of sharing a 134 foot boat with my 32 shipmates, in just four days we will all be moving on to our separate lives, but forever having this indescribable experience in common.
A special shout out goes to all of my shipmates tonight, hope that when you are reading this and in your comfortable homes you can think back to this day and remember all of the enjoyable, weird and painful times that happened aboard this ship.
To all the families and friends who are waiting for us to come home, we are all so excited to see you! Expect lots of stories but also very, very tired and likely smelly sailors.
And, Nick, the next time I talk to you it will be in person and Dad won't have to make you read this story again. Miss you and I hope Michigan is warm enough for us to go on bike rides pretty soon!