Since my childhood, I have always had a zealous desire to explore the ocean. I grew up in a city with 8 million people, close to the ocean, and yet, I have barely seen the blue ocean. Today is the day! We officially set sail on the Cramer today and by the time you read this, we will be in St. John! I was honored to be the first student to steer Cramer. I am so excited to put my hands on the helm and maintain the ship’s location at 010°.
There is a lot of work to be done on deck and with the constant high temperature, everyone has been drinking a lot. Our vision suddenly became clear once we left the port, when the island disappeared and flying fish started to accompany us on our sides. Staring far ahead, the water and sky combined as their boundary dissipate. It is precisely what we experienced since we first embarked on Cramer: a mix of pain and joy. Exhaustion after being woken up at 0300 at night for watch, impatient due to the persistent hot temperature in the saloon, in addition to the occasional seasickness and constant vibrating. But, as Captain Kevin said after we embarked the Cramer, each of us is not only students, but also a member of crew.
It is the challenge itself that rewards us with the joy of accomplishment and illuminates the importance of ‘ship, shipmate, self’. Thanks to the hourly boat check, everyone not on watch is able to sleep tight without the fear of a sudden alarm. Thanks to the hot climate, we realize the importance of hydration and kindly remind others to do so as well. Thanks to the seemingly redundant orientation and trainings, we are able to safely sail today and helps each of us realize that the ship cannot function if everyone is only paying attention to themselves. As my Marine Environmental History professor, Matt McKenzie, reminded us during his last class, ‘if you take care of the ship, the ship will take care of you’.
We are still far from becoming the master of a tall boat, but each of us learn a little bit everyday. A thousand-mile journey starts with the first step. I am genuinely happy to be on the Cramer with everyone and looking forward to exploring the ocean as I step out of my comfort zone and try to be a better version of myself everyday.
- Pike Li, C Watch, Colorado College
P.S. To Hux, Macy, Kate, Emily, and Nathan: Thank you for everything you have done so far! I am truly gratefully to everyone on the ship, and I am excited to know all of you guys better!
To any one from my family: 这几天船上一切都好，正如我所说，这个项目给 我带来的不仅仅是学术经验，更是无价的生活和社会价值，在船上的这几天我真的学到 了很多，你们同意我来参加这个项目是对的选择。路漫漫其修远兮，吾将上下而求索， 我会把在这里掌握的内容运用到实际生活中去，同时也希望所有人身体健康，有空魟鱼 不要忘记换水，膝盖手术不要忘记去做，再见！