The Spring 2013 Offshore Field Seminar Begins!

January 31, 2013

23o33.86’N x 81o47.98’W

Moored in Key West, FL

Good morning from Key West!  This is Katie Clark, the Director of Admissions at Williams-Mystic, writing from aboard the Sailing School Vessel Corwith Cramer.  We will be updating this blog every few days as able to let everyone know what we are up to, so be sure to check back regularly.

After a very early departure from Mystic, CT on Wednesday morning, the Williams-Mystic Spring 2013 class arrived in Key West, Florida! From the moment the students stepped on deck, they officially became crew members on the ship and were busy with a number of orientations.  First and foremost, Captain Justin Smith and the professional crew are concerned with the safety and well-being of the 36 crew members we have aboard. Students have been organized into three different watches: A, B, and C Watch.  Each of these watches is led by a mate and an assistant scientist. Students will be standing watch on a tight schedule at all hours of the day. Watches thus far have been through orientation in the galley (ship’s kitchen), line handling and knots, boat checks, the engine room, the doghouse, and navigation equipment and safety.   The safety station bill is one of the most important parts of this orientation as it gives each student a specific job or task during various emergency scenarios.  These were practiced earlier this morning and then will occur again in surprise drills during our trip.

Students are currently making the ship ready to leave the dock here in Key West and we will head out through the channel. Students will haul up dock lines, secure loose items on the deck, and begin to learn the lines of the sails.  We have seen many brown pelicans gliding and we are excited to see more local wildlife.  The students are looking forward to setting sail and anticipate an extraordinary experience as the SSV Corwith Cramer begins to feel more and more like home.

Fair Winds,


Lucy from Williams practicing her bowline knot.

Author: williamsmystic

A one semester interdisciplinary ocean and coastal studies program integrating marine science, maritime history, environmental policy, and literature of the sea.

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