SEA Currents: c264
Just a few short hours ago, we arrived with all hands on deck into Boca Chica, and with the securing of the Corwith Cramer’s dock lines to the pier we mark the end of our six-week journey that began in St. Croix, USVI, with the island’s remnants of Danish cultural markers, and continued on to the Greater Antilles in a circuit that included ports with clear vestiges of the Spanish Colonial era juxtaposed to those of a former British sugar island.
Approaching Boca Chica
I just came below deck after a beautiful sunset, an equally beautiful moonrise, and watching a student (Hailey) lead our ship through a tacking procedure to get us pointed closer to our destination of Boca Chica, Dominican Republic - the end of the voyage for C-264.
Rounding the Nubbin
Ahoy again! Today was the third and final day of our change project presentations! All we have left is the final write up of what we have learned about our topics at different port stops! I find it challenging to comprehend that there are less than three days left onboard Mamma Cramer with all my shipmates. From Woods Hole throughout the Caribbean, we have studied together, written papers together, raised and struck sails, written some more papers, and, of course, said hello to some whales.
Soaking it All Up
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.
Living in the Moment
Time at sea, on a ship, can be elusive and beguiling. This sentiment has been mentioned in earlier blogs, but today it was especially so. We recognized that today, the sun crossed the equator into the northern hemisphere denoting a celestial changing of the seasons (spring has sprung) and yet for us here in the Caribbean, it seems we are in a perpetual summer, while at the same time we hear word from the home office that New England is expecting snow!
The Final Countdown
Jamaica was absolutely awesome! Both days were filled with some amazing adventures. Visiting the Maroon community was like walking through a snapshot of history, and Wallace Sterling (The Colonel) had so much to tell us. I also had so much fun hiking and climbing waterfalls with my shipmates the following day. But, the Cramer and C-264 have said goodbye to Jamaica and we have been slowly making our way towards Boca Chica for the past two days.
The Last Leg
Yesterday we got the Cramer underway for the last time as C-264. We cast our docklines in Port Antonio and readied ourselves for a 6 day passage to Boca Chica.
As we looked back across our stern, the clouds finally lifted from the Blue Mountains of Jamaica and we were greeted with a breathtaking sight. Each layer of land became a subsequently lighter shade of blue, finally mixing into the yellow of the setting sun at the tippy tops of the mountains. We were so lucky to have a chance to explore a not-quite-as-touristy area of Jamaica and play in the mountains.
A Hike in Jamaica
Jamaica has definitely been a favorite port stop. The beauty of this Caribbean island is not over rated. On our student exploration day, a small group broke off, traversing through the Blue Mountains, hiking to caves and waterfalls and rafting across the Rio Grande with knowledgeable, local guide Rufus Thaxter. If the backdrop of misty green mountains, and dipping valleys with small farms wasn’t breathtaking enough we saw an abundance of interesting native plants.
Last Day in Jamaica
Being docked in Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio, Jamaica for the past two days has been great. We are walking distance from pretty much all the little comforts you take for granted back home: 2 minute walk to a nice beach, a five minute walk to the city center, and a three minute walk to the 3rd best ice cream in the world!!!!!!! (according to some sources and it’s definitely made it in my top 3 favorite ice cream shops now) in a shop called “iScream” where the flavors change daily to keep you coming back for more. And we did. Every day.
Today we took one of our class field trips, all of us piling into a bus, bopping around the streets of Port Antonio and then weaving through the mountains of the rainforest until we arrived at Moore Town. Moore Town is home to the Maroons; in the history books, they are regarded as runaway slaves who ran to the hill tops and were able to establish their own community of free blacks.