Coming soon to a court near you…

After many, many hours of prep, making the MSC our second home, and fielding practice questions from every direction, Moot Court is finally over.We argued a major beach access case from the State of Maine, which reached the State Supreme Court, Bell v. Town of Wells. We divided into two teams with the Town & State Government on one side, and the property owners on the other side.

I was surprised by how complex the case was; a huge component of this was trying to decide what the worth of the public’s right to enjoy the inter-tidal lands by the water, versus the right of a private property owner to keep others off their property. It was difficult to have to argue one side because both perspectives had their own merits. I ended up in “court” representing the land owners.

It was fun to see everything we’d been learning in Marine Policy up to this point come together, and act out a real life application of all the issues we’ve been discussing. I felt nervous representing the landowners, because I could completely understand where the townspeople were coming from, but that’s what makes these issues so exciting; they can easily go one way or the other, when faced with the facts and emotions at stake. By the end of court prep, I found my sympathies with the landowners! It amazed me how easily you might change your mind when you just give the other side a chance.

I loved watching my peers argue their cases, butting heads with each other, and at times, the judge (looking at you, Katy Hall!). But at the end of the day, we were relieved to throw off our suits and not worry if our roommate eavesdropped on the arguments we were practicing.

So, who won? The landowners reigned victorious once again…but there’s a chance to reclaim a victory for the town/state, F’15!

S15 Moot Court

A Pacific Northwest Photostory

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, so here are a ton to represent just how long it’d take me to write about our trip to the Pacific Northwest:

The Space Needle is not very needle-y, it turns out.

Oh, hi Seattle.


On the Waterfront (feat. my chipped Mystic Green nail polish!)


Me steering a tugboat.





Other people steering a tugboat. (One of these is not like the other)


Making new friends in Pike Place Market.


Near Pike Place and somewhere among the other countless pieces of gum is Williams Mystic S’15’s mark! A crew member from the Cramer already found us! Keep an eye out if you’re ever in the area.


Yep, that’s just a volcano casually chilling (heh) in the background as we begin our road trip.


We ran into one of our stewards, Katherine, from the Cramer at Powell’s Books in Portland, OR! And like the good steward she is, she brought cookies. They were delicious. I ate a lot of them…


Crown Point for our first Oregon morning: A view worth a 6:30 AM breakfast.


Multnomah Falls, Oregon.


Glenn & Jim run into old Mystic Seaport friends by chance. It really is a small world!


Hello, Pacific Ocean! It looks less like California now and more like the Northwest!




A “desert” in the PNW. Is there anything they don’t have?!


“Sciencing” it up in some tide pools.


Jim Carlton establishes a portable snail exhibit.


And one last view from the road.

I had so much fun exploring, singing Taylor Swift and Usher with professors, and learning the ins and outs of a world I’d never experienced. It seemed like we had a thousand trips in one. It was also crazy how many Williams-Mystic alums and friends we encountered although we were literally on the opposite coast. Plus, come on, van life is just about the best thing ever.

S’15 kicks off…again!

Hi everyone! Now that we’re back onshore, Rich and Catie are settling back into their routines and I’m settling into mine. My name is Rani and I’ll be your blogger for this semester! I’m a Political Science and English double major at Williams College, concentrating in Leadership Studies. It’s hard to believe we’re six weeks into the Williams-Mystic program, but we’re right on the heels of our next trip!

It seemed like I’d just gotten here before we jetsetted off to Puerto Rico. During our first day in Puerto Rico, we got to explore the beautiful, historical, and (most importantly) warm Old San Juan. The next day, we were ready to set sail (or learn how to). As we boarded the SSV Corwith Cramer, and I looked up the 85-foot masts and looked at the ship that would carry a crew of 32 people, I worried that I bit off more than I could chew. I can’t even really remember spending any time on a boat, let alone an enormous wooden vessel!

With the help of experienced and amazing crew members, Williams-Mystic S’15 came out on top. We learned how to tie some nautical knots, name and set sails, keep watch, and steer a ship, among many other things. Protip for future Williams-Mystic students: the best place to sing your heart out is during the bow watch of dawn watch. We were fed tremendously well on the ship, and after I got my sea legs, being rocked to sleep on a boat became very comforting. When we weren’t on watch, we spent a lot of time chatting with friends, journaling about our adventures, exploring the ship, and connecting with the ocean. Our phenomenal ten days at sea ended with one last night at anchor, where the whole crew celebrated our voyage with a showcase of the musical, theatrical, and whimsical talents onboard.


 Our crew on the SSV Corwith Cramer!


I can’t speak for others, but what was most meaningful for me was challenging myself to do things I never thought I’d be able to do. I got the chance to conquer my fears of heights, the open water, and microscopic creatures that look like characters from the movie Alien. I It feels like zero time has passed between our last departure. But when I stop to think about it, in the time since, I’ve grown closer to a great group of people I may never have gotten to interact with otherwise, learned how to conduct science experiments, dive into marine policy, look at artifacts that are centuries old, and read some fascinating stories about the sea.

Still, after a relentless winter, it will be exciting to enjoy the milder West Coast weather when we go to our Pacific Northwest trip. Seattle, here we come!