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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer

May 13, 2018

Underway Once More!

Kendra Ouellette, C Watch, Bennington College

Study Abroad at Sea

Our last view of Bermuda and the pilot that got us out of port.

Current Position
32° 38.96’ N x 064° 43.98’ W

Course & Speed
330° at 3 knots

Sail Plan
Four lowers (jib, forestays’l, mainstays’l, single reefed main)

Calm seas, blue skies, and wispy clouds

Souls on Board

This morning C watch had the pleasure of being on watch for our departure from Bermuda. We were able to sail out of St. George's (without motoring -- a first for even our Captain), and I was lucky enough to be posted on bow watch as we coasted through the channel. From there I was able to look back and see everybody hustling to set sail, and able to wave to everyone who came out to see us depart! It was so satisfying to see the jib and stays'ls come back up, followed by the tops'l and the mains'l. Of course, after six days of no sail handling everyone was a bit rusty when it came to recalling lines, but the three emergency drills we ran through during class this afternoon (all of which involve course changes and, of course, sail handling) were a great refresher. Bermuda was lovely, and definitely home to the kindest locals I've ever met, but I think we were all missing the sea at least a little bit during our time ashore (after we had indulged in all the snacks we'd been craving at sea and couldn't have), and most of us are happy to be underway again. I myself am thankful that I had the chance to feel what it's like to miss sailing; I think it'll really make me cherish this last week and a half, because I know that the break on the other side of this leg of the voyage will be much longer.

We're not leaving Bermuda behind entirely - joining our ship's company is Giovanni, a Bermudian high schooler who will be sailing to New York with us. Gio is a Sea Cadet and already has experience on two tall ships. We're all excited to teach him the ins and outs of life on the Cramer as well as get him acquainted with the scientific work we do.

Now that we're in this second half of the trip, I'm thinking a lot about what I still want to learn, accomplish, and experience in these last days. Drawing inspiration from Alex's idea of making a bucket list, here we go:

1) Make it to the top of the foremast: I've only been up to the first platform on the foremast thus far, which is probably less than half of the way to the top. Even there, the view was amazing - empty seas all around and an aerial view of an idyllic afternoon on deck. I think the view from up top would be even better. Maybe I'll strike gold and see some megafauna from up there, who knows!

2) Learn more stars: My favorite evening and dawn watches have been those with clear enough skies to get mini astronomy lessons from my shipmates. I'm picking up some stars and constellations, and learning to find them even as they turn around Polaris in the sky. I think I'd be even happier if I could really get the hang of the stars in the celestial G. So far, my favorite star is Sirius, which we call the party star; apparently there are two stars that make up Sirius, which gives it the appearance of flashing different colors. Check it out sometime - it's the brightest star in the sky.

3) Keep up with journaling: I've been doing a decent job of jotting down everything I'd like to remember from this trip, but days are long, and finding the energy to write isn't always easy, and before you know it you're 36 hours out from the last time you wrote anything down and it feels like you've lived a lifetime that you couldn't possibly hope to summarize. I'd like to stay on top of my journaling because I know my future self will appreciate it when I want to relive this voyage.

I also want to take a moment to wish everyone a happy Mother's Day. I think a lot of us here on the Cramer appreciated the opportunity to talk to our moms while in port, and a lot of those moms were instrumental in getting us here. I know my mom was probably wondering why I didn't wish her an early happy Mother's Day while I had the chance to do so, but little did she know I was writing the blog today and would be giving her a shout out! Mom, thanks for always thinking of me, for never questioning my crazy ideas (like when I told you I'd applied to live on a boat for a semester!), and for always reminding me how proud you are. It's knowing that I have you supporting me in everything I do that lets me take risks and try new things. Love you.

- Kendra

Previous entry: Local Apparent Goodbye    Next entry: S-280: Pacific Reef Expedition


#1. Posted by Jean Battersby on May 17, 2018

Kendra - love your shoutout to your Mom!  I know she is very proud of you! Jenny’s Mom

#2. Posted by Debbie Ouellette on May 18, 2018

I finally had a few moments tonight to get caught up with the activity on the Cramer!!!!  So inspirational to read everyone’s blog.  It sounds so amazing to be out there without boundaries and to be surrounded by water.  Kendra’s it was wonderfully settling to hear your voice last week.  I know our call was short but it was the best Mother’s Day present ever!  Everyone is asking about your trip….I tell them you’re miserable, lol, I’m just kidding.

Love, Mom

#3. Posted by Porter on May 21, 2018

Great job, Kendra. I appreciate the “future-self” motivation. I would have liked to see (or even experience!) the Cramer sail through the cut…

#4. Posted by betsy sherman on May 22, 2018

Insanely jealous! So happy for you. What an experience!



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