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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

November 18, 2018

Moments to Breathe

Matt Bihrle, C Watch, Whitman College


Sunrise aboard the Seamans.

Ship's Log

Current Position
35° 15.91’ S 174° 07.00’ E

Course & Speed
Anchored at Russell

Part Clouds, Wind SE 10 knots

Souls on board

Today marks the beginning of Week Two of our voyage, and our last day on land before a long stretch of sailing around the Kermadec Islands. It is hard to wrap my head around the fact that only a week ago my jetlagged self boarded the Robert C. Seamans. Every moment has been packed with learning.  We have touched on chemical analysis, celestial navigation, helmsmanship, and even the exhilarating task of walking while at sea.

Yesterday our class took a field trip to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where representatives of the British and the Maori signed New Zealand’s founding document. After spending weeks on land studying the signing of the treaty and the lives of the people involved, it was surreal to literally walk in their footsteps. There has been so much to see and learn in such a short time.

Today, however, was a day to rest and process all that we have learned so far. Some students headed to coffee shops, some off for hikes, and some to the beach. I ended up on a run with a couple friends up a surprisingly long and steep hill that rewarded us with spectacular views of Russell and the Bay. In my excitement or my exhaustion my vocabulary shrunk to exclusively contain breathless exclamations of, “Wow!” and “Oh my gosh!” After my heart rate slowed down and my mental function returned I was able to really take in the scene around me.

A lush hill leading down from my feet, falling all the way down to the water where it was met by jagged rocks growing out from the ocean. Beyond that, the bay was still, interrupted only by small, dramatically steep islands. From here I could see down to our ship at anchor, across to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, and out towards the open sea where we will sail tomorrow.  I took a moment; stopped; and breathed. The weight of what had happened in one short week finally sinking in.

Our voyage thus far has been stuffed with an almost overwhelming number of new concepts and ideas to wrestle with. But, it has also provided sunrises, sunsets, and picturesque hilltops: times to catch our breath and soak in everything we have been learning.

As we started our journey back down the hill, I felt an excitement building for the next leg of our voyage. We have had so many opportunities to grow in just a few short days and I expect there will be countless more in the weeks to come.

- Matt Bihrle, C Watch, Whitman College

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s283  study abroad  new zealand • (0) Comments


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