SEA Currents: Corwith Cramer
October 14, 2015
Welcome to the Atlantic!
36°07.7’N x 006°26.3’W
Hey friends and family! I hope you’re all doing well. Oscar here, coming to you from the SSV Corwith Cramer. Today marks a historic day for most of us onboard the Cramer and definitely one I will remember for the rest of my life. After patiently waiting near the Moroccan coast for optimal conditions, we finally sailed through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic Ocean; a feat not many can say they’ve accomplished.
I had an early start to my day as I was awakened at 0600. After enjoying yet another delicious meal (thanks again, Nick and Sarah!), I quickly climbed up the ladder and on deck with the rest of B watch to take over for the morning. If you take the time to look at the captioned image of me taking a momentary break, you’ll see it mostly captures my messy bedhead and cozy outfit, because as many times as I’ve done it now, getting up this early is just something I cannot get used to. So, I throw on whatever seems appropriate for the weather, eat a meal and grab my equipment for watch. My hair just has to wait.
After finishing my deck walk, I was pleasantly surprised when I was directed to take the helm for the first hour of the watch. While the rising sun behind me lit the sky in an array of different shades of red and orange, the African coast lay to one side with Europe on the other, and mountains loomed in the distance while dolphins happily did back flips beside the boat! It seemed like a surreal backdrop taken straight out of a movie.
However, this was a pretty critical watch because 0700 was the scheduled time for making our way through the Strait of Gibraltar, and this was going to take a lot of concentration and me to bringing my best.
The Strait of Gibraltar links the Mediterranean and the open Atlantic, making it an area heavy with traffic, meaning the pressure was on! Between being constantly vigilant for ordered adjustments to my course (Rocky was monitoring ship traffic and making sure we had plenty of space around us) and the captain standing right beside me, there was definitely a feeling of pressure to perform my duty well. I worked hard to make sure the boat was never off course, and I was pleased that neither the mate nor the captain needed to ask me to correct my steering.
Even before that first day onshore in Woods Hole, I was well aware of what the sea component of the program entailed, but I never could have imagined it quite like this. I constantly tell myself how blessed I am to be partaking in such an experience but words cannot even begin to describe what it’s like out here. You’d think that after a while, things start to get old and routine-like, but what I’ve come to learn is that out here in the big blue, everyday brings a new adventure and something never-before-seen is always waiting just around the corner. These are the days I know I absolutely cannot take for granted, and I don’t know what I did to deserve this, but I am loving it!
Until next time, everyone!
P.S. Shout out to that shark we saw today coming out of the Mediterranean. We see you trying to be all sneaky and stuff, but little did you know, nothing gets by us. Never underestimate the lookout capabilities of crew C-262!!!