SEA Writing

C-Watch is for Chelsea

Recently, I’ve been thinking more and more about former C-watcher, Chelsea. I found out she’s going through some rough times, and it made me hyper aware of the bonds and friendships we create. Chelsea and I were part of C-watch on the Corwith Cramer, and to say that we went through some incredible (and difficult) experiences together would be an understatement. Everyone on the Cramer formed part of this little family, and your watch mates were like brothers and sisters who you love but sometimes want to throw off the side of the boat, just as well to practice MOB drills.

They’re there at your worst, getting up for Dawn Watch at 3 a.m. as you tried to stumble in the darkness on deck, putting your shoes and harness on. They might even cover for you if you’re nowhere to be found, because it turns out you just fell right back asleep. They’re there when you’re doing Dawn Cleanup, and you’re on your knees cleaning the bathroom, with a squeege, a sponge with several corners missing, and a bucket wondering how did it all go this wrong? Dawn Anything seemed to be rough, except for dawn itself.

But they’re also there during the best of times, kayaking through mangroves in the Dominican Republic, and snorkeling with you through the reefs of several Caribbean islands. Your watch mates are likely to be standing next to you as the sun came up on a new day, and then as it came down, turning the stage over to the moon.

I still remember on a windy night, Chelsea and I were setting a jib or JT. We got it as high as we could by just hauling, then started cranking it up. She was tailing the line, I think, while I cranked. The wind was exerting such pressure on the sail and the lines, the seas were running pretty high, and it was pitch black, that I still remember the sound as I cranked the sail up. The mate of the watch kept telling us the sail needed to go up more and more, but the sound — the line was about to snap. Of course not. But I’ll never forget the feeling of just the two of us against this sail, knowing that if something went wrong, someone could be seriously hurt, and the sound…

Maybe I don’t talk to my watch mates very often or as often as I would like, but I still hold them dear — always will.

A home at sea
07 May 2010

My story began at sea
Sailing along from coast to coast
One day here, one day there
I stared at the wide Caribbean Sea

I may write a story to remember
Of mountains covered in the mist
I take photos trying to preserve
The color, the life, the people

Traveling creates stories full of people
Who you meet along the road
And whom you will remember or forget
Depending on what stories you choose to tell

It can be a story full of regret,
For all the stars I never saw,
For all the nights I wasted deep asleep
For all the sails I never set.

No more Sargasso screams at the rail
Or Boobies to record when in sight
No log to hove back
When the sea quiets down

What I remember from my voyage
Perhaps no story can ever tell
And in my thoughts, I found a home
For all that you could never see

A story always ends
And only memories we get to take
Hoping that the cruelty of age
Will let us keep them in some way

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