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SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

November 16, 2015

Day 2 in Auckland

Julianna Childs, Middlebury College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

First dock watch on the first night, in the dog house.

Ship's Log

Souls on Board

To all parents, friends and those lost trying to find SEA Semester details- AHOY! This is Julianna piping in to tell you about day 2 in Auckland. On every road trip there exists an inevitable first stage to the expedition. You all get in the car and morale immediately shoots sky high. People are singing songs, dancing to the beat and hollering left and right at every intersection. No matter how tired you get driving all night, or how good you feel when you get out to take a jumping photo with a landmark, or how sad you are when its all over, nothing can ever touch this initial honeymoon phase.

Our S-263 dysfunctional family ran back into each other’s arms in the exact same manner. Day 2 really began at 22:00 on Sunday when groups of two or three of us embarked on our first night watch in hourly shifts. I shared this experience with Erin Jones after being woken up by a whisper from Hayley Kushner who eventually realized she was talking to my feet and not my head- “Julianna it’s time to wake up, you have ten minutes to be on deck for your watch and its drizzling outside so bring a rain jacket.” I am sure I will get used to this but for the first time I think I responded with an overly invigorated head nod and probably 4 thumbs ups….a little delirious you could say. And yes, that’s right, here on the Robert C. Seamans we don’t rely on alarm clocks, iPhones or any of that modern junk kids use these days, we sneak down to what we REALLY hope is the right person’s bunk and tell them to get their butt up to the quarter deck to relieve the previous watch. Upon our arrival, our sleepy eyes and stumbling legs tried to keep up with the rundown of what our nightly boat check should look like.

In the morning we separated into our watches and began getting a feel for some of the movements I know will become second nature in the near future. My personal favorite, an activity made to simulate dealing with rope under stress, included everyone on our watch hanging on a rope while one at a time we tried to secure it. With the help of Beth our mate, and fearless leader, and one or two (or five) tries we succeeded in getting the hang of it. Pun intended.

The afternoon led us just across the wharf to the Auckland Maritime Museum where the sheer amount of mannequins and wax figures had us begging to get off land…just kidding. The museum, with myriad interactive and detailed exhibits, gave the impression of a carnival that took shelter from the rain. Only this carnival provided something intellectual for all of us to get lost in, Lucy Marshal in navigation, Liz Stephens in the steering simulator and Faye Hubregsen sitting in awe of Sir Peter Blake in one of the screening rooms.

The day ended as the day before had- after quiet hours at 22:00 and me accidentally poking Kate Connors a few times as I used her bunk to get into mine. I looked up at the ceiling (which must be less than a foot over my face) into the dark and hoped that this first segment of the sea component I will remember forever as that honeymoon phase at the beginning of any road trip. We certainly have a lot ahead of us, but whatever awaits, this initiation will remain pretty unforgettable.
Lots of love to my family and all of the families, I assure you that even if I did not mention your loved one they have most definitely already made an impact on me for the better.

See you on the flip side

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s263  port stops  new zealand • (3) Comments
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Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Lita on November 21, 2015

Great post Julianna!  Happy sailing!

#2. Posted by Uncle Hank on November 22, 2015

Dear Oliver,
I heard from your folks that this is the best way to contact you.

Your Auntie and I are still finding it hard to believe that you, once a little squirt afraid of putting his head under water, have managed to land yourself aboard a sea-fairing vessel! And in New Zealand to boot - what an adventure!

I cannot even begin to imagine what you will learn through your wanderings (can a boat wander?!). Do not expect to discover your true north, but this journey will certainly help prepare you to navigate the shoals of life. Be watchful for these potential lessons - but MOST importantly, have a ball and make some great friends! To these memories you will harken when you reach the doldrums of life, as I have.

I will check back for updates soon!

All my love,
Uncle Hank

#3. Posted by Gusty Lange on November 22, 2015

Mom of Chelsea:

Love reading the comments.  Now it is Nov 22….. and Thanksgiving is upon us.  From the website, looks like you are not in land sight…. Hope all is still going well….. the adventure of a lifetime…. whenever, photos and news and thank you so much for your detailed entry!!!!!!  .... and Happy Thanksgiving to you all….... May your Honeymoon period continue!!!!! Gusty (like the wind)



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