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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: The Global Ocean: New Zealand

December 18, 2014

What’s cookin’ on the RCS

Ben Ahlvin, Assistant Engineer

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Hey everyone, Ben the Assistant Engineer here. Checking in and bringing you an update on the current status of the good ship Robert C. Seamans as we make our way north on the last leg of S256. Everything seems to be switching to end-of-trip mode—the students are spending every free moment finishing up homework and projects, and the professional crew are already preparing lists of projects to accomplish during the next port stop and turnaround period.

December 17, 2014

One more day in the harbah!

Chris Marshall, B Watch, SUNY ESF

It’s becoming increasing difficult to write this blog entry as Becky repeats every sentence and KP files through the numerous photos of our journey that have been uploaded to the library computers. However, this reminiscing has made me recall all of the amazing memories that class S256 will share forever. For instance, yesterday (16th of December) we were given a fair amount of free time to traverse the Lyttleton/Christchurch landscape, which was great.

December 16, 2014

Don’t Make Me Leave

Ali Johnson, A Watch, Stonehill College

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND AUNT BETH!!! I love and miss you so much, I wish I could be there today! I can’t wait to see you in just about a week.

Today we saw more sunshine and fun in Lyttelton! It’s amazing what a difference we’ve had between here and Dunedin. Three days of sun and we’re all looking like a crew of lobsters. But we’re not complaining! This morning we had our normal cleaning duties and then went right into a few hours of study hall.

December 15, 2014


Kella Woodard, B Watch, Umass Amherst

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

The surprisingly small town of Lyttleton has welcomed us with gorgeous weather and wonderful people.  After a typical port morning - breakfast and cleaning - we headed out to Christchurch for the day’s activities.  A short drive through beautiful green mountains brought us to the Ngai Tahu Government Office.  Ngai Tahu is the largest Maori iwi (tribe) on the South Island, with over 53,000 registered members who can trace their whakapapa (lineage) back to an 1845 census.

December 13, 2014

Tutus and toothbrushes - A Day in the Life

Nina Whittaker, C Watch, Kenyon College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

The wind and swells were very strong this morning – during class, the gimbled tables were swinging back and forth so vigorously that they came right down to our knees, and then up to our chins. Jason (who was teaching) went to get his camera, and documented slight absurdity of teaching us about whaling communities in Alaska while the saloon swung back and forth in the swells, accompanied by the hearty crash of pots and pans in the galley. Post-lesson, we successfully deployed a Neuston tow and surface station, and managed to process pH and chlorophyll-a before handing over to the next watch.

December 12, 2014

Gybing, an unexpected treat, a Shipek and aloft!

Karissa Vincent, B Watch, Wheaton College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Though we only left Dunedin yesterday morning, that seems like ages ago to me as I am awoken from my slumbers by a voice informing me that I have 20 minutes until watch starts, that it’s slightly chilly on deck, but there are no signs of adverse weather. I grumble some semblance of “alright I hear you,” and as the voice walks away I slowly get out of bed. It seems as if I just went to bed not too long ago…

December 10, 2014

Class S-256 Featured in Otago Daily Times


SEA Semester class S-256, The Global Ocean, was featured in the December 8 issue of the Otago Daily Times!

“A group of international research students are turning their eyes on Dunedin after setting sail for southern waters. The 23 undergraduate research students and 12 crew sailed into Otago Harbour aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans yesterday.

The 134ft steel brigantine tall ship, operated by the United States-based Sea Education Association (Sea), was on its first visit to New Zealand waters….”

Read the full article

December 10, 2014

Hongis and Happiness

Kate Morneault, B Watch, Stonehill College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Wow, what a day!  This morning we hopped on the bus and headed to the Karitane Marae, a place of community celebrations and worship for the local Maori tribe (iwi), the Ngai Tahu.  We were first welcomed into an old school building for an introduction ceremony. The ceremony involved a leader of their iwi greeting us in the Maori language, and then the rest of the group joined him in singing us a song.  Kane, a member of the local Maori
community who is friends with our Guest Faculty Jason Mancini, introduced our class to the iwi and we sang a sea shanty for them.

December 09, 2014

With New Friends Comes New Culture

Kylie Sehrer, C Watch, Oregon State University

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

As I sat around the breakfast table this morning, our second full day in Dunedin, I could see the exhaustion I felt on the faces of my shipmates. Port life is hard. We have all gotten used to our watch rotations at sea and sleep better when the ship sways beneath us. I speak only for myself when I say that being in port is equally fabulous and horrible. It provides us with the chance to visit amazing places, meet wonderful new people, and contact our loved ones back home.

December 08, 2014

Dunedin Doesn’t Disappoint

Eli Steiker-Ginzberg, B Watch, Oberlin College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Today marks our first full day in the city of Dunedin! And what a day it has been. This is the furthest south I or SEA has ever been. Some fun facts about this city: it houses the first University established in NZ and had the first botanic garden in this country. Dunedin is a very different city from Wellington and Auckland. This city has strong Scottish roots in its demographic and sports blatant European-inspired themes throughout the parts of the city we have seen thus far.

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