SEA Currents: new zealand
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.
Haere mai ki Aotearoa (Welcome to New Zealand)
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.
We are all here
It was another day in paradise on board the Robert C. Seamans. We were all gifted a little extra sleep last night. The watches rotated back to their original mate and scientist watch officers to stand our last rotations of 9 mile watches. We hauled back the anchor in Waiti Bay, motoring 27 miles over the 3 watches, to our current anchorage SSE of Stanley Point. The coastline was stunning along this transit. A pod of dolphins swam with us for some time.
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.