Sea History Today 2: SEA in Sea History – 19 October 2018

SEA in Sea History Magazine

The NMHS Annual Awards Dinner is just around the corner (25 October); we’re looking forward to a fabulous evening with old friends and new, celebrating the contributions of VADM Peter H. Daly, USN (Ret.); Prof. Timothy Runyan; and Sea Education Association (SEA). For more information about the awardees, please visit the dinner page of our website,

SEA’s founding director, Corwith “Cory” Cramer, on WESTWARD, 1976.We were leafing through old issues of Sea History to see just how long we’ve been following the growth of SEA; as it turns out, we’ve been reporting on its progress for a long time. In Sea History 12 (Autumn 1978, page 37), excerpts from an annual report by founding director Corwith Cramer Jr. appeared in the magazine’s Ship Notes, Seaport & Museum News section. Cramer informed us that “…the most important statistics are the 123 students who graduated from Sea Semester in 1977… from 64 colleges and one foreign country.” Already we could see growth in the organization’s future in the conclusion of the Sea History piece: “The success of the program is reflected in the next step proposed in this report: ‘To meet the growing demand we shall need a larger sea-going campus. We have been unable to find an existing, suitably sized sailing ship. We therefore shall complete preliminary designs for a new one in 1978.’”

SSV Corwith Cramer Courtesy SEAFast-forward to Sea History 46 (Winter 1987–88, page 36), where we find the following report, again in Ship Notes:

The Sea Education Association (SEA) has taken delivery of the Corwith Cramer, a 135 ft. brigantine built by Astilleros y Talleres Celaya (ASTACE) in Bilbao, Spain. Named for SEA’s founder, the new vessel joins the research schooner, Westward, in carrying oceanographic and scientific expeditions to sea. The Cramer will rendezvous with the Westward in the Caribbean before they sail together into Woods Hole on 14 May. Sea Semester class No. 100 will set sail on the Cramer on 20 May… The Cramer is the first vessel built according to standards set forth in the Coast Guard’s sailing school vessel regulations. The ASTACE yards have built a number of sail training ships in recent years, including Mexico’s Cuauhtemoc, Colombia’s Gloria, Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar and Ecuador’s Guayas.

The Summer 1996 issue, Sea History 78 (page 4), reported that then-SEA president Rafe Parker was recognized with that year’s NMHS Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education for his work with SEA. Now, twenty-two years later, NMHS is again honoring Sea Education Association for its internationally-recognized leadership in field-based environmental education at sea. Christopher J. Culver, rear commodore of the New York Yacht Club, will present the award to SEA president Capt. Peg Brandon.

It’s always fun to go back and watch these organizations evolve through the eyes of contemporaries. You have a standing invitation to join us on our stroll down Memory Lane via the index to Sea History, to see for yourself what we have been reporting on over the years.


Sea History Today is written by Shelley Reid, NMHS senior staff writer.  Past issues can be read online by clicking here.