The Beginning of the Journey is the End

December 5, 2021

Author: Pike Li, Colorado College

SSV Corwith Cramer on our way back from Francis Bay

Ship's Log

Ship’s Position
18°21.773’N 064°45.020’W

Ship Speed
Anchored, 0 knots

Taffrail Log
158.5 nm

Weather
F2 winds SSExSE, waters calm with no swells

Location
Anchored in Francis Bay, St. John Image

Souls on Board

I spend a certain amount of time writing on Cramer but not academically. Sometimes, just simply peeking at the tempestuous ocean and greenish islands carries my thoughts afar, and thus the writing begins; sometimes, writing a few sentences to friends on different watches brings me happiness for the day. Writing the blog post is neither: consider that one of my predecessors had effectively increased the maximum word count toward 1,400. Nevertheless, delineating what we have done today is chiefly beyond the joy.

The Port watch has the deck this morning; we sailed back to Francis Bay again! I was assigned to the ‘look out’ at the bow for an hour. The official job was to look out for potential navigational hazard, strange clouds, fascinating animals, or fast-moving vessels. But the reality was more like a roller-coaster as the waves thrusted the bow, creating a constant dramatic change in height. By the time I saw an agile ship coming toward us, I ran toward the stern to report, and only observed the white bubbles it left behind. The lab is also running a big nutrient test this morning for all the samples we have collected in the past 6 snorkel locations.

In the afternoon, just before we embarked on our journey out to the open ocean, almost everyone was readily excited by the idea of hiking near the beach at Francis Bay. We walked for roughly 40 minutes to snorkel at Waterlemon Cay. The crew informed us about the perennial occurrence of sea turtles at this spot. According to the students who snorkeled there, they observed a few Southern Stingrays, a Spotted Eagle Ray and a jellyfish, with a couple of students who were able to catch a glimpse of a nurse shark. They also saw a pervasive amount of parrotfish, damselfish, and two giant sea cucumbers. I am certain that everyone there enjoyed the end of our reef snorkels with this grand experience at Waterlemon Bay.

Kyaralind, and me, and deckhand Davi, the best person I have ever known in my life (as she requested I write), went for another
exploration: a hike up to some ruins above Waterlemon Bay. There is a hiking trail near the snorkel site and we walked up for approximately 20 minutes.
The view on the apex of the mountain was wonderful: the island, mountains, and ocean were all within a single glance of the eye. On the way back, Kyaralind found an archway made by tree twigs and some sweet-apples, though they weren’t ripe yet.

Beginning tomorrow we will be entering a new stage of our trip: sailing non-stop for the next two weeks. The watch schedule will be 6 hours on and 12 hours off. Every watch will get the opportunity to work the dawn, morning, afternoon, and evening watches. We will also have class every day at 1430. This is certainly challenging, adjusting from a 1-hour anchor watch schedule to 6 hours of straight ship sailing. Nevertheless, this is also a great way to get out of our comfort zone and truly explore ourselves.

Whatever challenges and discomfort we might encounter in the next two weeks will only be tiny stumbling blocks on our road toward success. In the end, each of us will become a better version of ourselves, as a genuine reflection upon what we have experienced on the Cramer.

PS: I am grateful for Emily to provide me this beautiful photo of Cramer.

To Ridge: 我代表Victoria向你问好,希望你进来一切都好。Victoria非常爱你,也非
常想念你。Victoria在船上堪称是我们的楷模,为节省淡水的用量,她鞠躬尽瘁,一马
当先,至今6天仍未洗澡。她迫不及待地想在圣诞前夕见到你!

To my family: 明天开始我们就要扬帆运行了,接下来的14天应该会很苦,但是一定会
痛并快乐着。目前看来船上真的能学到很多,也希望你们一切都好!

Pike Li, C Watch, Colorado College

Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications, 508-444-1918 | dkarlson@sea.edu

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