SEA Currents: The Global Ocean: New Zealand
February 12, 2015
First and most importantly, Happy Birthday Mom! Since we are one day ahead here you get two birthdays! I hope you have a great day and that the snow isn’t piling up too much.
After another calm night of dock watch alongside Princes Wharf in Auckland, we at long last prepared to cast off and hit (somewhat) open water. First in this preparation was a series of safety drills—the highlight of which was an opportunity to once again don our immersion suits (a.k.a. Gumby suits)—to make sure we all know what to do in the case of an emergency.
February 11, 2015
Today we were accompanied on our bus tour of Auckland by Joseph Fagan from the University of Auckland, who shared with us his knowledge about the local geology, geography, cultural sites, and tourism industry. Our first stop was at Mt. Eden, a volcanic cone (one of many) protruding from the surrounding city. After a short walk to the top we were gifted with a beautiful panoramic view of ocean, the harbor, buildings, and surrounding topography. Joe had plenty to add on the site’s history as a Maori fortified village and its role as a tourist attraction.
February 10, 2015
At its annual conference last weekend in Philadelphia, Tall Ships America presented SEA with the prestigious award of 2014 Sea Education Program of the Year. This prize is “awarded to a program offered by a current member of Tall Ships America which has significantly contributed to the educational credibility of programs under sail.”
February 10, 2015
We awoke bright and early this morning to enjoy a delicious breakfast, courtesy of steward Lauren, before setting off on a walking tour of Auckland. Our tour, led by Mary, brought us to the neighboring Queens Wharf and over to the Wynyard Quarter. As we learned about Auckland’s different waterfront areas, many of our fellow students shared information they had learned in their studies for our “Maritime History and Culture” course. We also got a great perspective on the importance of the city’s commercial industries.
February 09, 2015
When the students and faculty for this class was last assembled, we could see 18 inches of snow out the windows of our Woods Hole campus. We have now traveled to the opposite side of the world and into summer in the southern hemisphere. With such a long distance to travel, it is not too surprising that five students were delayed along the way, and we will not have our full company on board until tomorrow. (We followed very different paths to get here; most travelled through Los Angeles or San Francisco, but some students booked their travel through Fiji, Hong Kong, Brisbane or Honolulu.)
February 08, 2015
The students of S-257, The Global Ocean, will join the SSV Robert C. Seamans on February 9th in Auckland, New Zealand. They will end their voyage around March 19th in Christchurch, New Zealand.
December 23, 2014
Ever since writing my last blog post I have been concerned about this one. What would I say about our very last day? How would I sum up this voyage and do the rest of my ship proud? I am not this vessel’s most artistic writer, in fact I tend to write very technically and without flourish. I am not one of the people on this vessel who has been in love with this experience from the very beginning; I am grateful for it, but also ready to come home to my family. So how could I possibly be the right person to write this final blog post?
December 22, 2014
Today was a day of great significance: celestial, emotional, and developmental. For us here in New Zealand it is December 22nd, the Summer Solstice. It was the last full day of our program, full of fun activities, cleaning, and general wrapping-up procedure. Most of us finally enjoyed a moment not dominated by battling the seas or racing to an assignment deadline: during this opportunity to reflect we realized how much we’ve changed and what we’ve learned over the past three months together.
December 21, 2014
When I was woken up at 0600 this morning for watch with the weather update of ‘wear your foulies,’ I didn’t know what to expect coming up on deck. Today was supposed to be our Final Mission Day, where each watch would be given a location to sail to and science deployment to complete. Unfortunately, the wind and seas picked up last night, gusting to 40 kts and forcing us to strike all sails… Looks like we’re back near the infamous Cook Strait!
December 20, 2014
Well, I lucked out to be able to write the blog today, but my only problem is how to describe how perfect today has been. We started the day waking with the rising crescent moon competing to take over the sky with sunrise. The sun’s rays greeting us along with a warm, calm northwest wind (yes, I stated that correctly, WARM north winds!) with blue skies to follow. The four lowers were raised for the last time as we go to anchor tomorrow nearing completion of our voyage.