SEA Currents: new zealand
The Wings of A Gannet
“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we
understand and we will understand only what we are taught.” —Baba Dioum
Today was another “land day” for the students and crew of the Bobby C. We jumped off the ship at 0745 this morning and onto the waiting bus for a winding ride through the bucolic New Zealand countryside.
We saw actual kiwis today! Our second day in port was off to a fantastic start with a visit to the National Aquarium of New Zealand-a convenient 20 minute walk from the port. Contrary to popular belief, kiwis are not tiny birds-they are chicken-sized. Lorna’s fun fact is that kiwis technically have the shortest beak of all bird species because the length of the beak is measured from the nostrils. We also saw the highly-anticipated feeding of the penguins, frightening spiny lobsters, and a huge sea turtle.
Kia Ora from Napier! We are finally on land after three weeks of deep water sailing.
It is a little overwhelming. The Brigantine doesn’t rock too much, the ocean sounds different and you can walk on land. It is funny how you can get used to water in three short weeks and they say we are not made to live in the ocean. When we got dropped off at the dock gate, everyone ran to the black pebbly beach. Maybe it was a sense of freedom or maybe it was just our remedy to withdrawal from the sea.
When you think of Field Day you probably envision three legged races and egg tosses. On the Robert C. Seamans it’s even better! Field day happens about once a week and this is our chance to scrub every surface and corner on the boat. Different from our Daily Cleaning, Field Day takes a couple hours and a whole lot of team work. All hands are necessary and dancing is greatly encouraged. At this time, each watch is assigned a section of the boat and you can enjoy various genres of music as you pass from one end of the ship to the other.
A day in the Bay of Islands
Ok. Lets set something straight here. Its tOmato people. Not tAmato. Nuh uh.
My name is Marcel and I’m the only Kiwi on a boat full of Americans sailing through the South Pacific. HELP ME. When I notice the wind picking up and the temperature dropping I tell my fellow crew members to go “chuck on a jersey”, but all I receive are weird looks and eye rolling.
A Toast to Tangaroa (aka Neptune)
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.
Seals, Penguins, and Little Critters!
It is just our second full day in Dunedin, but I have already developed a new love for this city! We keep getting reminded by the locals that the weather is normally not 75 degrees and sunny and that we are just getting lucky, but it seems pretty perfect to me. We’ve had a very busy past 24 hours that have been full of visitors on the ship, an extensive all-day field trip, and storytelling from members of the Sense of Place class on deck.
Today was the first day we have gotten to “sleep in” since February 17th. Never before would I have called “sleeping in” until 0750 actually sleeping in—but either way, it felt luxurious. Even with our extra hour of sleep, our morning was not off to a slow start. We enjoyed the company of a breakfast guest, Kim Curry. As we ate a delicious breakfast of frittata and homemade English muffins, we talked with Kim, an ocean chemist at NIWA at the University of Otago.
A Conversation at Sea
This blog entry is the first 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.
Bye Bye Wellywood
Today at 1330 we left Wellington for the Cook Strait. Wellington has been one of my favorite cities so far. It was a bit gloomy on Thursday and Friday, but on Saturday the city bloomed. Every direction I walked in, there was something to see and do and eat. On Saturday I ate lunch down on the waterfront watching kids dive into the ocean. A cool diving platform had been built on the edge of the dock and kids were taking a plunge with impressive flips and tricks.