SEA Currents: c264
Happy PI Day From Jamaica
Just a quick to note to family and friends who happen to follow our humble blog here on the Corwith Cramer. It has been an eventful day, but in many ways that is nothing new. But today we did recognize PI Day (3.14 calendar date) by having some delicious Key Lime Pie for afternoon snack. Thanks again to Tia and all her hard work in the galley.
Next stop: Jamaica!
After our lovely break on land, there has been no time to spare while getting back into the routine of the ship. My day began early, with a 0230 wakeup. After watch turn over, we quickly got into our routine, rotating through our responsibilities on deck. Around 0500 I stood at lookout admiring the view around me: the faint horizon slowly emerging from the dark, lights of Jamaica in the distance, and below me the glow of bioluminescence twinkling as waves crashed around the hull of the ship.
Life in a Polygon
Historical sites visited, Salsa danced, and cigars smoked. I’d say C-264 did Cuba the right way. Since we have plenty of science to do and navigational techniques to master, we are not sailing directly to Jamaica, we are working our way through an area of the ocean that coincidentally forms a polygon on the chart.
Well, today started with some more exploration time for all of us in Cuba to hopefully find some more information about our projects. Emma, Aiden, Sophia, Taylor and I wandered the streets of Cuba in search for some local art stores that we were told about and it was followed by a success. We found some beautiful pieces of work that showed some meaningful aspects of life in Cuba but also the beauty the artistry found in this country.
Cuba on the Cusp of Greater Participation in the Global Economy
There was a great deal of excitement aboard the Corwith Cramer among student crew and professional crew alike as we drew near our port stop in Santiago de Cuba. In our resources on board, Santiago was highlighted as the first capital of Cuba, a significant fortified port in the era of Spanish flotillas working their way from the mineral rich Spanish colonies in Central and South America back to the Iberian Peninsula and then as the cradle of revolutionary activities from the latter part of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century.
¡Bienvenidos a Cuba!
Hola from Santiago de Cuba! How many people can say a pod of dolphins brought our sailboat into Cuba?! When exploring, we discovered that we are definitely the only Americans here, which makes it feel like a truly unique experience. The welcoming attitude of Cubans in Santiago for American’s is more than I expected. Once Cubans found out we are from Los Estados Unidos, they would say “We love Americans! We love Obama!” Also, we learned that President Obama is making a visit here in two weeks—just missed him!
Catch of the Day
Today was our first day of exploration in Santiago de Cuba, a day that undoubtedly left us with a wealth of knowledge in a country that is relatively unknown to American students. During our tour of the city, we explored areas that were meaningful to Cuba’s multiple wars for independence, including El Morro fort at the entrance to Santiago Bay. Our tour even included a lunch overlooking El Morro and the Caribbean Sea that featured a delicious meal and ice cream, or helado, for desert.
Pulling Back the Curtain
Our arrival in Cuba is marked with the salute of a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins passing freely beneath the Cramer between the port and starboard quarters. Our furling of the mainsail in preparation for our next port call is briefly interrupted by this informal welcome. As we motor into the Santiago canal, we are met by a mandatory coastal pilot who, upon arriving, graciously accepted our hospitality and a few gifts.
By my reckoning we are at around the halfway mark for the sea component of C-264. So far it has been a really great trip. For me, the best part of the trip is a toss-up between all the awesome people we have sailing with us, and the amazing experience at Silver Bank with the Humpback Whales. I guess since none of our ship’s company will read the blog until we get ashore, I’ll go with the whales as my favorite part.
Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for: the day we head to Cuba! Today also marks the halfway point of our voyage. I was awoken this morning around 0900 by the utterly terrifying sound of our anchor being dropped right outside my bunk on the port side of the forecastle. Last night us C-Watchers had the Mid-Watch from 2300-0300, so we had the luxury of sleeping in this morning. We were anchored in Puerto Plata, DR for the morning to pick up a new shipmate, Marissa, who will be with us as a scientist for the rest of the trip.