This morning, Quach guided us through the Cape Cod Canal under sail, and then we had to make a decision about where to go for the night. In the end we made the decision to return to Woods Hole one day early to avoid anchoring in unfavorable winds. As I am writing this final blog post for C303, I’m feeling a lot of different emotions. I feel a sense of mourning because I know that after tomorrow this amazing group of 31 people will never all be together again.
Amir uses a sextant (May 10th)
There won’t be another night sitting on the quarterdeck listening to soft guitar music and watching the sunset. I won’t get to pass the staysl’s again or shout “galley, we’re gybing!”. I won’t be woken up at 0030 to stand outside in a squall for hours (ok, maybe I won’t miss that). I feel remorse, but I also feel a sense of excitement and celebration. Tonight we had our final swizzle (basically a really weird talent show) which was emceed by Marin, Bella, and I. It was a celebration of all we’ve accomplished on this trip and a time to reminisce about the highlights of our time aboard Cramer. I feel a sense of excitement that we get to work on finishing our projects back on shore.
And I am also really excited to wash my clothes because they are starting to smell kinda bad.
One concept that I learned about on this trip that I think is really applicable to our voyage is something known as type II fun. Type II fun is defined as something that may not be fun in the moment, but is fun in retrospect. It can be distinguished from type I fun which is something fun to do in the moment, and type III fun which is something that is not fun even in retrospect, but makes a good story. Type II fun happens when you’re standing dawn watch in the eye of storm system with constant lightning in all directions. Type II fun is when you get woken up at 0650 because all the dishes fell off the tables and made a loud scary noise (that happened this morning).
Steering through the Cape Cod Canal (May 11th)
Type II fun is when you have to take a saltwater shower on deck in the cold because the watermaker is malfunctioning. Type II fun is trying to perform gel electrophoresis with 20° of heel on the ship. These things may not have been the most enjoyable to experience in the moment (actually the lightning was really cool and it wasn’t even raining), but these experiences have made us stronger and more resilient people in the long run. Type II fun is ultimately the most fulfilling type of fun and I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. (They also make really funny stories.)
I’ve been wondering why we all chose to study abroad with SEA and not any other study abroad program. I could be experiencing the night life in some exotic country halfway around the world, but instead I chose to live on a tall ship in the middle of the ocean doing science for five weeks. There are the obvious reasons to choose this program like this could be a way to explore future career paths in marine biology, or we wanted to learn how to sail a tall ship. As I was thinking about this I realized something odd. Yes, I chose this program in part for those reasons, but I honestly don’t know why I chose this. All I know is that I made the right choice.
This morning as I steered the Cramer through the Cape Cod Canal, I kept thinking to myself, I’m not ready for this trip to be over. I’ve been getting messages now that we have internet access, but I haven’t responded yet because it feels like if I start to interact with the outside world again, this experience will be over, and I’m not ready for that yet. I know that all good things must come to end though and so I’m going to stay awake all night so the voyage lasts just a little longer, and I can watch one last sunrise aboard the Cramer with the best crew in the world.
- Amir Graupe, Quach & University of Illinois