Current position of the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans
February 11, 2015
Auckland, City of Volcanoes
Alongside Princes Wharf, Auckland, New Zealand
Warm and sunny
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. By route of Auckland’s most expensive street, we headed to Mission Bay, a popular east coast beach where we could see the impressive Rangitoto volcano situated at the mouth of Waitemata harbor.
Our tour then took us to the rugged and sparsely populated west coast. Some sea shanties carried us through the winding and forested roads to the Cascade Kauri park, where we saw the legendary Kauri trees (one was over 600 years old!) that once covered much of the North Island. Our final stop was Bethel/s beach, on the Tasman Sea, where we stopped for lunch and exploring. We soon realized that the black sand (you guessed it, volcanoes!) forming the enormous dunes and beach was very hot to walk on, so we ate lunch and stayed near the water. The surf was pounding on the beach and students explored small caves, rocky outcrops, and sandstone cliffs.
After exhausting ourselves in the sun everyone slept on the bus ride back to Princes Wharf. Many students retired to the ship to nap, or returned to the city for last minute shopping and WiFi hunting before setting sail tomorrow. We have also begun the collection of data or interviews for our Maritime History and Culture research that is centered in this city, and others are preparing for our port stop in Russell. Though still acclimating to the summer weather, rumor of more inches of snow accumulating at home made putting on sunblock today less of a chore.