Thankful for Thankless Work

October 16, 2020

Logan Stouse, B Watch, Pomona College

B(uff) Watch hauls away on the main sheet

B(uff) Watch hauls away on the main sheet

Ship's Log

Present Location
41° 28.5’ N x 070° 45.3’ W

Ship’s Heading, Speed and Sail Plan
At anchor in Tarpaulin Cove

Incoming gale (but we’re in sheltered waters)

Souls on Board

All blogs from C-294

Life on the deck of the Cramer involves a lot of what some might call thankless tasks. Today, as we tacked around the end of Martha’s Vineyard, we had to strike the two stays’ls very quickly. B Watch, along with some miscellaneous folks that happened to be on deck, was confronted with a blur of muscle work. As soon as I finished easing the halyard to let down the mainstays’l, I hopped on top of the lab to furl it.

Learning about the Neuston Net from the lab top.

Learning about the Neuston Net from the lab top.

Immediately after that I had to run forward to do the same for the fore stays’l. Then it was back aft to strike the mains’l as well. By the end, I was scatterbrained and exhausted, but we had safely brought the ship into the safety of Menemsha Bight.

Throughout this seemingly hectic yet methodical process, I moved to where I was needed and nobody went out of their way to thank me or anyone else for doing these arduous tasks. This isn’t a bad thing. Life on the Cramer requires a lot of a person, and you can’t expect to be praised for doing everything that is expected of you, especially while on deck. “Ship, shipmate, self” is an oft-repeated saying at SEA, but I really felt it today. Doing all of that work isn’t exceptional, it’s the baseline. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t gratifying work. Seeing the Cramer get from Point A to Point B efficiently and safely is a beautiful thing to see, and being there for your shipmates is a wonderful feeling in and of itself.

And in the end, some kind words from our watch officers (thanks Carolyn and Süpi!) go a long way, and we do actually feel thanked for our efforts. B Watch (AKA Buff Watch) passed the helm to C Watch feeling happy with the work we’d done and ready for a phenomenal steak dinner cooked by Adam, Katey, and Sam. As I write this, I’m heading off to bed, happily ready for another day of “thankless” work, because I’m thoroughly stoked to be part of
something bigger than myself.

- Logan Stouse, Pomona College

PS: Much love to Mom and Sophia for paving the way before me. Happy Early Birthday Daddy-O! Mary Iris, can’t wait to see your beautiful face in Key West.

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