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!

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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