Working Hard, Eating Well, and Having Fun!

Sunday February 3, 2013

Location: 24o37.0 ‘ N x 084o00.3 ‘ W

Sails: Four lowers

With moderate seas and a favorable breeze, we are a happy crew aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer off the coast of Key West, Florida.  It's Katie here from Williams-Mystic, enjoying a beautiful and relaxing few hours on deck before afternoon class.  The students have been working extremely hard these past few days, learning how to perform their roles on board as efficiently as possible and adapting to their new schedule.  This takes a lot of hard work and requires a fair amount of sleep. I have been so impressed with their ability to work with such high spirits, even at 0300 in the morning-if there is one thing everyone on this ship has in common, it is their ability to laugh! We are also unbelievably well fed by the lovely ladies of the galley, Shelby and Lauren. Last night for midnight snack we had banana walnut muffins. Delicious!  My personal favorite meal so far was a dinner of chicken (or tempeh) parmesan with lemon asparagus and roasted potatoes.

While we certainly have been working hard while on watch, the students and crew aren’t missing out on any fun along the way.  There are moments throughout the day for a quick rest, reading, taking in the seascape on the quarterdeck, and sometimes, if we’re lucky, a musical performance by our very own Captain Justin on the guitar!

When students are not officially on watch, they can usually be found sleeping or enjoying the sunshine together on deck. Right now, Sato from Williams can be found on a deck box with her violin in hand jamming with Lauren the assistant steward on banjo, Don the engineer on ukulele, and Williams-Mystic admissions counselor Stephanie singing.


Leah from Colgate is leisurely sitting on the quarterdeck with a box of colored pencils coloring a few pictures for the crew, while Caroline from Hamilton just came on deck to say hello before retiring below to her bunk for a quick nap before lunch. A twenty minute respite like these can really help us all relax and enjoy our time here even more.

Nearly every moment aboard the Cramer is a learning moment.  In passing, a student could learn the name of a line, why a sail is trimmed in a specific way, or which button turns on the stove, Roxie, for breakfast.  Early this morning at about 0500, the Captain came up from his cabin and immediately started pointing out his favorite constellations to C Watch (Scorpio was at the top of his list.) The professional crew is at all times more than happy to teach and often take time to share their own stories with the students.

Over the next few days, students will be working on their science projects, will be tested on their knowledge of all the lines on the ship, and will become more and more comfortable with their nautical skills.  We’ll be writing more soon!

Fair Winds,


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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