SEA Currents: The Global Ocean: New Zealand
Yuck…it’s 0520. I’m on watch…meaning I have to meander around the boat and jot down numbers, expected to be fully awake while in realtity, there was only one eye open and two yawns for every footstep. However, the job was done in an orderly fashion (twice) and everyone, including our mascot, Steve, our cat (we don’t really have a cat) was safe.
“Shem, it’s Cassie, its 6:15, breakfast is in 30 minutes” I heard through the white curtains of my bunk. In a sleepy haze I emerged and met eyes with Christina across from me looking equally as disoriented. We prepped for the day and met everyone in the salon while hot plates and steaming dishes assembled neatly on the table. Sabrina, our steward, cooked us veggie frittatas with a side of sausage and pineapple. Coffee in hand I sat to a delicious breakfast, listening as we all remarked on adjustments to our new sleeping conditions and excitement for the day.
The students, faculty, and crew of S-271, The Global Ocean: New Zealand, have all arrived aboard SSV Robert C. Seamans, docked in Auckland. Following two full days of intensive ship training, coupled with excursions to an island nature reserve and the Auckland War Memorial Museum, we will set sail for the Bay of Islands.
The students of S-271 will join the SSV Robert C. Seamans in Auckland, New Zealand by February 14th. They will depart in Christchurch, New Zealand around March 24th, after port stops in Bay of Islands, Wellington, and Dunedin.
The crew of the Robert C Seamans woke up this morning to their first field day, when the entire ship’s company worked for several hours to clean the entire ship. Everyone was very motivated to finish so that we could go ashore and explore the Chatham Islands. Once ashore we were met by Toni, a Moriori/Maori native who has lived on the island for the most of her life. We all piled into a bus and were taken on a full day tour of the island.
After 5 Days of sailing, The Robert C. Seamans has made it from Lyttelton NZ to the Chatham Islands (~500 nm). The Chatham Islands are Part of New Zealand, and are due east of the South Island. Locally, they are known as the Land of the Misty Sun due to ever present clouds and a rainy climate. We dropped anchor outside of Port Hutt around 1800 after spending most of the morning beating into the wind to reach the inlet.
As our time on the Seamans draws to a close, I think most of us are wishing we could tie ourselves to the ship with our well-practiced knot knowledge and never leave. After our swizzle tonight, which will consist of lighthearted talents and debauchery no doubt, we will go our separate ways.
This blog entry is the second of a two-part series of profiles on persons aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Chief Engineer Tom Klodenski and sign language interpreter Drew Pidkameny, both hesitant to write about themselves on the SEA blog, were nevertheless encouraged to contribute by resident anthropologist and blog czar Jeff Wescott. Tom wrote a series of questions for Drew to answer, and vice-versa. The entries for March 19 and March 24 are the result.
We had a surprisingly great day weather-wise today! At approximately 0200 we got word of a minor storm coming our way. Though the wind speed increased and the sky filled with clouds, the rain luckily held off. The plan as of yet is to stay close to the coast to protect us from the poor weather. We had an exciting surprise fire drill before lunch, giving us all a chance to practice our fire-fighting protocol, maybe for the last time onboard the Seamans.
Kia ora family and friends of all us salty sailors on the Bobby C!
After standing in awe of the sunrise over the Otago Peninsula this morning, we departed Dunedin and made our way through the narrow channel back out into the South Pacific Ocean, and on our way to Lyttleton. As a student of nautical science and geography, I am always interested in the numerous charts that aid us in our travels through bays and sounds and in the vast ocean around New Zealand.