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
March 10, 2016
Bless you, solid ground
41° 17.1’ S, 174° 46.8’ E
Queens Wharf, Wellington
Very windy and mostly cloudy
It’s hard to believe that after 12 exhausting and rewarding days at sea, we’re finally on land. Real land! Yesterday afternoon, the Seamans was lucky enough to be personally welcomed into Wellington by a pod of dolphins. All of our past dolphin encounters had been from a distance, close enough to the ship to be visible by eye but far enough to use binoculars. The dolphins we see are usually swimming in the opposite direction of the ship, allowing us only a quick glimpse before they disappear back into the ocean.
Yesterday, they were not only were swimming in the same direction we were sailing, but also were so close to the ship that it felt like we could reach down and touch them! Of course, we would never disturb megafauna in their natural environment, but it was nice to imagine the dolphins waving and smiling at us as we watched them in awe. Some of them swam under the ship, back and forth along the port and starboard bow as if trying to beat us in a race to shore. Others leaped through the waves, putting on a show the way dolphins do. They didn’t seem to want to leave our side (can you blame them?), and we definitely didn’t want to stop leaning against railings to watch them (can you blame us?). Calling this experience exhilarating and surreal would be an understatement, so I’ll just leave you with the actual, physical tears that rolled down my face to help you picture how beautiful that moment was. And yes, that really did happen.
So far, Wellington has been great. This is the third city we’ve been to, but it took more time to get here than to get to the other two combined. Now that we’ve been on land for a day, I wish I could say that I’m now able to walk in a straight line without holding onto anything, unlike those stormy nights out at sea. But it turns out Wellington is the windiest city I’ve ever been to, so I can’t seem to manage walking around without either toppling over sideways, jogging to keep up with the wind pushing me, or feeling like I’m crashing into a brick wall. We have two more days here before we set sail for Dunedin. In that time, I plan on learning to walk despite the Wellington winds, and then proceeding to walk for an extended period of time in any direction I choose. I love our ship, but sometimes I forget that I also really love land.
P.S. Hi Mom and Dad! And hi to all other moms, dads, family members, and friends who take a little time out of your day for us. We’ll tell the dolphins you said hello.