SEA Currents: The Global Ocean: New Zealand
March 03, 2015
Happy Chreaster Y’all, I’m turning 7!
I’m sorry if this holiday does not mean anything to you, but it means something to my friends, me, and my family. It’s a long story that starts with my heart attack in 8th grade and me saying “Not today, Death!” (according to my longtime friend Edward, although I think he might be exaggerating) and ends with me celebrating it as my “other birthday” each year. It’s a positive day, don’t worry.
March 02, 2015
My morning started out with a different sort of wake up than I’ve had on the ship. To a groggy and blurry eyed me, Sienna and Charlotte sang “Happy Birthday” with their lovely voices. Although startling, it was a pleasant surprise. To continue my birthday celebrations, Elliot gave me a gift in the form of a deck practical exam. While it was probably not the best present I have ever gotten, it was fun to see what we’ve learned these past couple of weeks. We were tested on things like line handling, tying knots, points of sail, and the crowd favorite, putting on an immersion suit.
March 01, 2015
As the historian on board, I’d like to take a few paragraphs and put our voyage into a broader context, as we sail in the wake of some really interesting mariners, beginning with the Polynesians who crossed the Pacific in double-hulled voyaging canoes and arrived in New Zealand around 800 years ago. What the Maori found here was very different from what they left behind on tropical islands like Tahiti, as New Zealand has a temperate climate.
February 28, 2015
Greetings friends and family from warm, sunny Port Underwood! After nearly two weeks on the high seas we made anchorage early this morning on the tip of the Southern Island. Being able to walk from one end of the ship to the other in a straight line was a nice change and gave those of us with weaker sea legs a brief respite from the rolling swells of the previous days. We plan on setting sail for Wellington tomorrow morning and we all look forward to some time on dry land.
February 27, 2015
Life teems and excitement stirs as our passage to Wellington nears an end. Today, we headed south into the productive, Chatham Rise waters to obtain a little more data and information on what lives and thrives in the colder southerly current. Thanks to those extra few degrees of south latitude, we encountered swarming albatross aplenty, (who seem to know the ins and outs of the waves better than Mama Seamans herself) a few seals, basking and fishing in the chilly water; and even a glimpse of a pair of pilot whales, mother and child, lumbering by.
February 26, 2015
One month ago we were confined to our cottages in Woods Hole waiting out a blizzard that put New England under a record amount of snow. Fast forward to yesterday evening and we were getting ready, yet again, for a different kind of weather event. Forecasts told of an approaching cold front with strong southerly winds to follow. The evening started quietly, as the setting sun filled the cloud-spotted sky with colors of orange, and Lauren, our multi-talented steward, played her musical stylings on a violin.
February 25, 2015
One of the harder things to keep track of on the ship is the incredible amount of food that we are eating. 3 meals a day and 3 snacks strategically placed a few hours after meal times to help wash meals down. Behind the scenes of these meals, we have our amazing steward, Lauren, who has been mentioned before on this blog. Today was a special day for Lauren-it was her day off! And her place was filled with the professional crew on the ship.
February 24, 2015
The first hour of my 21st birthday was an eventful one. I was on watch, actively handling sails, surveying the surrounding waters for boat traffic at the bow, and balancing on the bowsprit in preparation to set the jib. The winds and swells were intense; it was as if I was a pinball, and the ship was a giant pinball game, making simple maneuvers much more difficult. However, the clear skies were a recipe for great stars, and I was finally able to locate the components of the Celestial G without the help of Stu, my watch officer.
February 23, 2015
Camp is great! Oops, I mean - SEA Semester is great! Over the two weeks since we joined the ship I have had so many amazing adventures, from climbing aloft into the rigging, learning to identify marine birds, furling the heads’ls on the bowsprit, deploying zooplankton nets to learn more about the critters, setting square s’ls, eating on gimbaled tables, going to a Maori marae. I can’t even describe how much I’ve learned and I can’t wait to tell you all about it when I’m back in the same hemisphere.
February 23, 2015
SEA Semester® in the News:
“SEA Semester Affiliation Puts Students at the Heart of Oceanographic Research Around the Globe”
Stonehill College website | Feb. 23, 2015
Alexis “Ali” Johnson ’16 will never forget the night she felt the sky and ocean were alive, at once, all around her.
It was around midnight, and her ship was cutting through the South Pacific off the coast of New Zealand.
“The sky was perfectly clear,” says the mathematics and environmental science double-major.