SEA Currents: new zealand
Our journey along the NZ coast has been shaped by the diverse perspectives, aspirations and experiences of SEA Semester students, crew and faculty aboard the Robert C. Seamans (RCS). We’ve found some common threads – an all-encompassing love for hot chocolate, for example (almost to the point of needing to ration said beverage – tragedy of the commons anyone?), or our general appreciation for swim calls a stone’s throw away from an active volcano.
NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmosphere
Yesterday was one of the best field trips yet, especially for the science nerds! NIWA, New Zealand’s version of NOAA, invited SEA Semester to tour their research vessel, RV Tangaroa, and their facilities in Wellington. NIWA was super generous, and a new connection for SEA was made.
A Rose’s Point of View: Zooplankton, Plants, and Souls
First off, I’d like to say a huge I love you to a rather wonderful man named Brett Phinney, as this marks our two year anniversary. I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to find you. I’m sorry we can’t spend this day together, but know that I’m still loving you and missing you from the other side of the world.
Now, on to the blog post.
Donuts, Tea and Clean Water
It is now Day 3 in Wellington and I am becoming quite attached to our temporary home here alongside Queen’s Wharf. Elliot chose a great place to dock the Seamans because we’re right next to a playground with a slide that must have been built for adults. It’s so tall. I was honestly scared to go down it at first but thanks to Sophie2 and Ben I finally conquered my fears. Our prime real estate got even more prime today when a mini-donut food truck decided to park on the sidewalk right by our boat. We’re all really hoping that it’ll stay a while.
The Soggy Socks Saga Continues…
Ah…let me begin by saying how lovely rain is. It is a mysterious thing. It has the power to slip into clothes and most annoyingly, you guessed it, my socks…again. We braved the Cook Strait (a.k.a. the vortex of doom…well…not really…but the ocean laughed at me when it sent a wave over the rail and soaked me). This trip has mostly been about trying to find new ways to keep my socks dry. Have not found a solution yet…I should just stop wearing socks altogether.
The Most Wonderful Chocolate Cake
Waking up I knew it was going to be a good day! How was I so sure? Today is my birthday, I turned 22! The day started with a sleepy chorus of Happy Birthday from my fellow shipmates over a delicious breakfast from Assistant Steward of the day, Maddy Savage and our ever so amazing Steward, Sabrina. After breakfast Eileen and I started an intense game of “Spit” which was quickly interrupted by Cassie, our watch officer, asking for our help.
Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Today the class visited the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the site of the signing of New Zealand’s founding document. The Treaty Grounds sits atop a hill, providing a panoramic view of the Bay of Islands region. Our guide, a Maori man named Owen, walked us through the grounds and we gathered around Ngaatokimatawhaorua, a 35-meter-long canoe requiring at least 76 paddlers that the Maori builders first launched in 1940. Just up the hill we arrived at a flagpole marking the spot where the treaty was signed on 6 February 1840.
A Day in the Galley
This morning I woke up to the smell of bacon filling the air around me. I know this meant that Sabrina (our wonderful steward) was coming to wake me up soon. Sure enough, at 0545, she came by my bunk and delivered my wake up call. Today, I was the Steward’s Assistant. This meant that instead of joining my watch for our normal sea watches, I got to help out in the galley. I also was in charge of planning out the meals for today.
Soggy Socks Among Other Magical Things
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.