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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 03, 2015

Exploring Wellington

Chris Dalldorf, C Watch, Dartmouth College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

I promise to the right and left of this are beautiful gardens that Megan, Connor, Matt, and Helen are taking pictures of, although I’m glad to see that Sienna took it one stage further by taking a photo of me taking a photo of people taking photos.

Ship's Log

Still Docked at Queens Wharf in Wellington

Souls on Board

Happy Chreaster Y’all, I’m turning 7!
I’m sorry if this holiday does not mean anything to you, but it means something to my friends, me, and my family.  It’s a long story that starts with my heart attack in 8th grade and me saying “Not today, Death!” (according to my longtime friend Edward, although I think he might be exaggerating) and ends with me celebrating it as my “other birthday” each year.  It’s a positive day, don’t worry.  It gave me an easy topic for my college apps, so it was well worth it really.  Either way, it seems to have become my nickname around the ship as most the other students have been calling me Chreaster, even a few who don’t know the story.

We started today by taking a choo-choo (or a train, in layman’s terms) up to the top of the botanical gardens.  While others were primarily focused on taking pictures of the beautiful plants surrounding us, I turned my focus to the people taking the pictures.  My record was four, although some of the people taking pictures are also taking pictures of the people taking pictures.  Clearly, we all deserve to have cameras and are all going to become famous photographers.

After a combination of figuring out which trails were intended trails and which were just areas between trees, a lot of us made it to a rose garden at the bottom.  While the roses were pretty great, we also discovered a fresh spring of free, consistent wifi, a valuable, rare commodity for S-257.  After updating our resumes, contacting all our families, sending out a few job applications, starting our thesis paper, and then just a little bit of facebook, texting, and emails, we headed off into the city.  After my failed attempt to find the zoo to laugh gleefully at kiwis and red pandas (no, I’m not actually 7 years old), I ended up wandering the city with Eric, Emily, and Jenny.

We went to a farmer’s market, although we were surprised to learn that apparently “farmer” in New Zealand means “food stand,” the language here is real hard.  We walked around for another hour or so, grabbed some Mexican food (nothing like travelling halfway around the world away from Mexico to get their food), and headed over to Te Papa museum where we met Jillian by chance.  Note, if you learned about colossal squids at a young age but never checked back up on them like me, you might be disappointed.  I always imagined that the colossal squid would be about the size of half of the city of Wellington.  I was pretty confident colossal squids were why Godzilla wasn’t a more prevalent issue (again, I haven’t learned anything about colossal squids since about 1998).  Jillian informed me she thought it was this big before she saw it, but that didn’t help me feel much better.  Either way, the rest of the museum was really cool and we definitely didn’t spend 20 minutes in the earth science exhibit seeing who could lift the heaviest rock (I could lift them all, mom and dad!).

After walking back to Cuba Street and meeting up with the majority of A and C watch and a few rogue B watchers pushing into the late hours before their curfew, I decided to go hike Mount Victoria before night.  I tried a little while to convince others, but apparently I was about the last one to see it so I decided to hike it alone at sunset.  I’d show you a picture, but I saw some other people posted Mount Victoria pictures earlier, so I’d just google “Mount Victoria, Wellington sunset picture taken by handsome, smart, guy who loves his friends and his family more, even the two little sisters who have had two weeks of snow days but somehow didn’t find the time to wish me happy Chreaster even though my older sister in med school and snow found the time to do it twice and will call the next time he gets good wifi that isn’t in a quiet rose garden,” something along those lines should work. 

After hiking up a mountain, watching the sunset, and hiking down a mountain, I found the majority of the group I left in Cuba Street about 30 feet from where I left them.  I then grabbed some food, answered “blue” when a group of strangers asked me whether a picture he was holding was blue or grey (it was clearly blue), then went back to Seamans.  After spending some time laying on furled sails and talking with Hayden, Jillian, and Helen, I started my hour long dock watch.  Since the boat was still tied up to the dock and not sinking or on fire at the end of my watch, I can assume I did my job well.

Love ya friends and especially love ya family,

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s257  port stops  new zealand • (2) Comments
Previous entry: A sunny and windy day in Wellington    Next entry: Land-Lubbing


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 Helen's Parents - Barb and Tim on March 05, 2015

OK - some of these posts make me teary but this one has me laughing out loud. Happy Chreaster Chris. Now you can add total stranger’s greetings to your little sisters’ dose of guilt.  I’m so glad Helen’s parents were smart enough to give her a great camera last year. If the country is half as beautiful as you all describe, there will be amazing pictures to view. I cant wait to see them.
Be well everyone.

#2. Posted by Christi Dalldorf on March 07, 2015

Took me awhile to get to read your blog. Sounds so great we are planning a trip to NZ for Christmas.  Following you around the globe again my boy.  We celebrated Chreaster with chocolate as prescribed by law.  We all miss you boy, me the most, of course!.  All estrogen even at the chicken coop. They gave away my rooster and my boy is in NZ. Hurry back best friend. Carolina-Dook tonight. Love you, your dad



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