SEA Currents: c261
July 21, 2015
Many students aboard the Corwith Cramer will never sail again aboard a tall ship, or perhaps ever again travel in close quarters with a couple dozen total strangers. We learn skills out here on the ocean, from furling a sail to setting a stay’sl, from gybing to navigation by sextant, from knowledge of world fisheries (as we discussed today) to the simple facts required to live comfortably on a ship. Learning these skills or gaining this knowledge can certainly be gratifying, but looking ahead, most students currently aboard the Cramer will never (or at best infrequently) use these skills again in their lives.
July 20, 2015
A Renga at Sea
Renga is a Japanese verse form in which a series of poets build on each other’s work using repeating words, images, or allusions. During class yesterday, the C-261 students and crew wrote a modified renga based on their observations and perceptions of the day’s conditions.
July 19, 2015
A Glimpse of Stars
During the mid night watch, 2300 to 0300, A watch experienced our first glimpse of the stars. After about ten days of sailing and exploring, we had yet to see a single star on our night watches because the weather was consistently misty and overcast. While at the helm, focusing on keeping the Cramer on track by intently staring at the compass attempting to read the numbers through the collection of magnifying rain drops obscuring my view, I noticed a single bright light in the sky.
July 18, 2015
Heave, Ho! And Away we Go!
Some numbers from Douarnenez:
1 haunted island (Isle de Tristan) that was once inhabited by…
1 old house once inhabited by a rich “Jay Gatsby” de Douarnenez and lavish parties
2+ number of Nazi bunkers
2 old sardine factories
(unknown number) of ghosts
4 operating sardine canneries out of 24 original factories
1 trip to the Mayor’s office for a wine and cheese reception in our honor
July 17, 2015
Looking for “Le Wifi”
My quest for “le wifi” was unsuccessful yesterday. So much for my Skype date. It was probably for the better (sorry honey). Honestly, I love being able to talk to my loved ones for free over the internet during port calls. However, while prepping for a class on the backstory of the Beaufort Scale, which is an ordered set of descriptions mariners have used to determine wind force based on observed conditions since Darwin’s voyage on the HMS Beagle (I miss you, Wilbur and Freyja!), I ran across the following:
July 16, 2015
Places by the Sea
“Ports … places by the sea … they’re places of mixing, mixing and mingling.” –Prof. Dan Brayton
Last night we slept alongside the massive concrete dock on the Port de Rosmeur at the north end of this enchanting town. After rigging a gangway from lashed wooden 4x4s, the crew tested the somewhat rusty ladder that allows mariners to access land in tides that range more than ??? feet, and we began our investigations.
July 15, 2015
We arrived in Douarnenez at roughly 08:00 this morning with the crew in high spirits. I have to admit that I was taken aback by the natural beauty of the area, despite the sea fog hindering visibility along the coastline. The rolling, green farmland on the coast across the harbor granted us an unexpected juxtaposition against the unmistakably European architecture of the town with its church spires towering in the foggy distance. As pockets of crowd gathered around the dock to watch us roll in, the crew was quick to absorb that it was easy to feel like a minor celebrity on board the ship when docked in a foreign harbor.
July 14, 2015
Extending the Family.
The journey this far has been exhilarating. An entire new experience with a wealth of people that have never been in the same room together before, let alone one ship. I wouldn’t have it any other way; this is where great things begin.
Personally, I took on this month long voyage to find mission and purpose in my life. While I can’t be sure which form this will take, or even if it will be noticeable right away, I can be sure that the events occurring on this vessel and the people who surround me will have a lasting impact on my future direction.
July 13, 2015
How to Take a Shower at Sea
The first thing I did today was fall out of my bunk. And then I was seasick. Really seasick.
At some point during the Dawn Watch (attended faithfully by C-Watch), the Corwith Cramer made its way into the portion of the Celtic Sea off the coast of Great Britain. There we discovered the true meaning of “wind and waves” as our suddenly small ship began to be tossed about like a little kid playing with plastic boats in a large bathtub.
July 12, 2015
Copepods, Saltines, and a Soggy Paper Bag
Today was our first full day at sea, making headway towards Douarnenez, France. After an uneventful night at anchor, the Cramer was moving at first light, with A watch getting her under way at 0500. Soon we were surrounded by a steely grey sea, where the friendly swells picked the ship up, and rolled her from side to side. Although this movement delighted some of the crew, others were less charmed – there promptly grew a lively trade in saltines and Gatorade on the quarterdeck, to aid our seasick shipmates.