SEA Currents: c257
About Those SEA Semester Messages in Bottles….
On SEA Semester voyages, our students often take part in the time-honored tradition of scrawling a message, rolling it into a bottle, and plunking it into the ocean. Where these communiqués end up can help us to better understand ocean currents—and they’re a fun way to reach strangers we may never otherwise meet.
In the last week alone, we’ve heard of two separate instances where beach strollers have spotted our students’ bottles—an intriguing enough coincidence that we felt we had to share it on this blog.
SEA Semester Caribbean Voyage Featured by Boston College
SEA Semester® in the News: “Sea Change”
The Boston College Chronicle | May 7, 2015
While his Boston College peers endured the snowiest winter on record this semester, junior Samuel Beard set sail for the Caribbean – but not on a pleasure cruise. One of 18 undergraduate participants in a Sea Education Association (SEA) interdisciplinary study program, he explored global issues of conservation and sustainability in the Caribbean region.
The Ship Rests
Alongside in Old San Juan, tucked in between the mighty cruise ships yet their passengers look upon us with envy as they wander by. Corwith Cramer now rests, having served her charges well. Over 2000 nautical miles sailed with nary a scratch. The students have now departed, headed off in a myriad of directions, some perhaps to never set foot aboard again, but that is the magic, for the ship and the sea are in their blood, and whether or not they ‘return to the sea,’ the evolution and the experience they’ve had lives on.
It has all been said, or so it would seem. The student blogs these past six weeks have provided an honest, vivid, and uniquely personal view of their time onboard the Corwith Cramer. An experience that has been at times challenging, rewarding, and deeply profound in ways specific to each and every student and crew member onboard. There is an undeniable sense that we have all shared a common adventure, weathered the ‘storms’ together, and have forged unbreakable bonds together; and thus, as a ship’s community, we are all the stronger for it.
Sailing through the Windward Passage
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.
As we near the end of this epic journey everything seems to finally fall into a perfect place. Our sea legs are strong with over 1900 nautical miles on them and Mama Cramer has become our home. I feel the closeness between our crew, the only people whom could truly understand the trials and tribulations of this amazing experience we have participated in together. The last leg of the trip we have become the “watch officers” (still under the watchful eyes of our professional mates) taking on main responsibilities and directing our watch teams-a wonderful reward to all the hard work we have been through and the skills we have learned.
The Sea Never Sleeps and neither do the students of C-257
If I have learned anything from being in college its two things: The first is that sleep is a very valuable commodity which I never get enough of and second, college students are a special breed of individuals. It shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise to my classmates and myself that as our time together comes closer to an end, so to would our due dates come catapulting into our realities. Although it should have come as no surprise, there certainly was a great amount of surprise amongst this salty band of collegiate sea dogs when our due dates where announced.
Sailing by the Wind
“Why is there a towel covering the compass?!” was the first question I asked upon arriving on deck for my afternoon watch. “Oh, we’re sailing solely by the wind today!” exclaimed Sean, “Pretend the Cramer is a little boat, and use your little boat skills to move her.” I laughed at the analogy of the Cramer as a Boeing 737 and a little boat as a puddle jumper popped into my head. I relieved Allison at the helm, and was told to steer a close reach.
Sailing toward a Journey’s End
We all knew that this trip would sail by soon before we were ready for it to. But now, with only days left, I find myself filled with an overarching sense of bewilderment that my study abroad experience I have been looking forward to since high school really, is coming to an end. Though I know that my shipmates and I are only embarking on our own lifelong adventures, I can’t help but feel melancholy knowing that this special dynamic created by each vital individual will never exist again, come March 30th.
Shipmate support during Junior Watch Officer Phase
I awoke to the “two, six, heave” of B watch hauling away on sails so I grabbed my video camera and headed on deck. I followed the watch for a couple of hours recording their every movement, even Nicole as she was the junior engineer doing all sorts of mechanical and dirty work with Tanner, the ship’s engineer. Just as the Junior Watch Officer (JWO) phase continues, so too does science continue.