Off we go!

Author: Haley Ferrer

hauling on the mainsail halyard

Tegan and her shipmates Sydney, Margot and Sofia hauling on the mainsail halyard.

Ship's Log

Anchored off Fredricksted, St. Croix, USVIs

Warm and breezy with a few clusters of squalls, full moon and starry night

Souls on Board

And just like that, the Corwith Cramer is on the move!

Today marks our first day of sailing for the C-302 trip- and man, was it a good one. After spending the morning carrying out emergency drills and doing some last minute preparation to get underway, we cast off our dock lines and motored on out of the Gallows Bay channel- dodging reefs and shallow waters the whole way. Once we safely made it to open water, it came time for the students and crew to join forces and collectively figure out how to actually sail this big boat we now call home- a process that is beautifully chaotic.

Gisela at the helm.

Gisela at the helm.

Learning the names of sails and studying pin rail diagrams is one thing, but actually putting that knowledge and terminology into practice is a whole different story. With a lot of communication, team work, and muscle (and a fair bit of spinning in circles trying to figure out which line goes where for those who are new to the ship), the crew set the four main lowers (jib, fore stays'l, main stays'l, and mains'l) and enjoyed a lovely motor sail to the west side of the island.

As we sit happily anchored off of Fredericksted, I find myself finally able to sit and reflect on the eventful day- and nostalgia is setting in pretty darn hard. I can't help but recall my first day sailing as a student on the Robert C. Seamans over 3 years ago, and the immense amount of emotion and growth that I experienced in that one momentous day. I vividly remember the initial anxiety of leaving land and heading for the unfamiliar open ocean, as well as the fear of not being a competent crew member while out at sea.

Even more vividly, though, I remember how quickly those feelings dissipated and were replaced by an overwhelming sense of joy, satisfaction, and pride unlike anything I had ever experienced. There is nothing in the world that compares to standing at the helm, looking up at a rig full of sails that are propelling you through the water, and knowing that it was you and your shipmates that made that possible. Admittedly, I was not as nervous today as I was three years ago- perhaps because I have been sailing on tall ships for a few years now- and I found myself wondering if the experience of hoisting those sails for the first time this trip would be more dull and common-place than it was back then. I am not surprised to report that I am just as awe-inspired by myself, my shipmates, this ship, and the ocean as I was when I was a student. I found myself standing next to the helm today as Gisela steered, and being absolutely humbled by the expanse of horizon that lay before us and so grateful to be able to explore the world in this way. And I am pretty sure she was thinking the same thing.

I am already so impressed by the enthusiasm, curiosity, and camaraderie of this group of students, and I can't wait to see what is in store for the crew of C-302. Here's to five weeks of sailing, learning, and growing!!

-- Bird

Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications, 508-444-1918 |

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  1. Carol Tanner February 20, 2022 at 11:09 - Reply

    Wonderful Sailing Adventure Blog
    Thank you

  2. Elizabeth O'Brien February 21, 2022 at 13:34 - Reply

    Wishing you all a safe journey! Love from the O’Briens, Saratoga Springs, NY

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