SEA is the result of Cory Cramer’s efforts and those of his many friends and supporters. The earliest SEA voyages were directed from headquarters in Chicago and Boston. In 1975, Cory brought the organization and its sailing vessel, the Westward, to Woods Hole, Massachusetts, a world-renowned center of oceanographic teaching and research. Today, the Sea Education Association, headquartered on a 5-acre campus, is a partner in the scientific work of that community and a recognized national leader in education under sail.
SEA has expanded dramatically over the years. Much of that expansion can be credited to Rafe Parker, who succeeded Cory Cramer as director in 1982. In addition to making substantial improvements to SEA’s campus, Rafe oversaw the building of a second ship; in 1987, the Corwith Cramer was launched, and with it an entirely new classification of research sailing vessel. It was also during his tenure that the Westward was sold to Ocean Classroom Foundation and replaced by the SSV Robert C. Seamans. This state-of-the-art vessel, launched in 2001, has made it possible for SEA to offer programs in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.