SEA Currents: s263
That’s well your SEA Semester
After a day of fighting the mung, Bobby C is spotless and all our stuff is (mostly) crammed back into our bags. We set the mainsl one last time and are now preparing for a delicious dinner and final festivities tonight, where everyone’s talents will be finely displayed.
Seas the Day
Although it’s still something people will immediately shush you for should you bring it up over dinner, our time at sea is coming to a close. To be perfectly honest, I’m not entirely sure of the best way for me to utilize this blog post. I would love to sum everything up in a nice, neat few paragraphs, but that’s pretty impossible. So if you can, bear with me while I wander and ramble.
With the Gannets
Have you ever been stuck in a parallel universe? What?! You have? Wow. Well for the rest of you looking for that kind of experience, have I got the place for you: Napier, New Zealand. For the past two days, we have enjoyed strolling the streets of Napier, smelling that salty air, and imagining what this place might have been like in years past. It’s not too hard, though, because everything in this town was built in 1932.
Absurdity on Land and Sea
What separates a sailor, particularly of the salty Seamans variety, from any old landlubber? During our port stops, the answers to this question become the most clear. It could be our slightly disheveled air-our stained t-shirts, matching hiking sandals, and wind-tousled hair that make the locals look twice. We can go ahead and pretend it’s because our open ocean tans (sunburns) make even the most rugged of Kiwis seem like they don’t enough time outside. It could also be the way we move in packs through any town, like a swarm of locusts alighting on any and all available Tim Tams.
Hello from Art Deco Land
Hello from beautiful and sunny Napier, New Zealand. We arrived here this morning after a day spent anchored in nearby Hawke’s Bay to avoid some rough weather out at sea. Though our original plan included going to Gisbourne instead of Napier, I have to say that I am personally very glad about the way that things turned out. Because of some tricky harbor situations, Captain Bill informed us that we would be heading south to Napier instead of Gisbourne. At the time, this held no big meaning for me.
The Seamans’ Alphabet
A is for the aftsoles for which you must pay the troll toll.
B is for brigantine, our lovely home.
C is for Cholula, the better hot sauce.
D is for deck walk. Did you do it yet?
That Time About All of Us
Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, our time at sea together is drawing to an end. Although we look forward to returning home and whatever adventures there are ahead of us, (and although memory is a tricky thing) I doubt we will ever forget the time we have spent sailing on a particular 134-foot brigantine and on shore. Here is one thing (loosely defined in some cases), among the many things, I will remember my friends and shipmates by long after we part.
Of Stars, Sunrises, and Megafauna
We’ve rounded East Cape of the North Island and are steadily making our voyage to Napier. With some balmy, high-pressure weather, we’ve soaked up some sun during the warm days and gazed upon the constellations displayed on the clear starry night skies.
All Downwind From Here
The last twenty-four hours have been marked by strong winds as we make our way down the East coast of New Zealand toward Napier. A Watch was particularly excited to discover, in preparation for our daily Navigation & Weather report, that as more seasoned sailors, we managed to have our rhumb run exceed our log run by 6 miles over the last 24 hours—an indication of efficient sailing.
The transformations that happen over the course of a six week sea component are astounding. The way the South Pacific Ocean turns from angry to placid in a matter of hours, the sudden bounty of seabirds the minute we turn south, the change of light in every dawn and evening watch, and the metamorphosis of students from those first few information-laden days to the accomplishments of the program’s final weeks. Deep in week four, it’s fairly straightforward to see the broad strokes of changes from week one—comfort with the spaces and the routine, the emergence of inside jokes and new and subtle questions directed at the ‘whys’ instead of the ‘whats’ of the things we do aboard.