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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans


October 14, 2016

A Pretty Unreal Day

Emma Newmann, B Watch, Colgate University

SPICE

Andrew, Addy and Emma N getting ready to snorkel by the shipwreck at Pangaimotu. Photo by Emma Karsten

Current Position
21° 07.7’ S x 175° 11.8’ W

Location
Nuku’alofa Wharf, Tongatapu, Tonga.

Weather
Beautiful and Sunny

Souls on Board

It’s impossible to count how many times today my shipmates and I paused to look at each other in amazement and exclaim how unreal our life feels right now. My day began with a 0600-0700 dock watch, during which I woke up fellow ship mates, sipped on coffee and watched a beautiful sunrise over the harbor. Next up was a buttery crepe breakfast, complete with blueberry sauce and lemon slices for garnishing. Sound good yet? After breakfast, a group of students walked with Bex, our steward, to the market to stock up on produce for the next leg of our voyage. I was assigned to seek out bananas, which was slightly overwhelming since there were about ten different vendors each selling ten different types of bananas. Alas, after some meandering we were able to pick some out.

After the market adventure the students were all given most of the day to do as we pleased. A number of us opted to stay in town and walk around, take care of scary real life/internet things (something I have yet to do) or rest. Myself and five of my shipmates decided to go on a little day trip to Pangaimotu, a nearby island accessible by a short water taxi ride. We started off our day with a walk along the pristine beach, looking at the seashells and making friends with adorable little crabs. Along the way, Andrew heard a coconut fall in the woods and went on a quest to obtain it. Success! After a lot of prying and maneuvering with various techniques, we were able to husk it and crack it open and voila! A perfect coconut! We sat on the beach and snacked on it, unable to contain our joy. After a scrumptious fish and chips lunch, we continued on to our next activity: Snorkeling around a shipwreck! The shipwreck was right off the beach, and was covered with incredibly bright corals and surrounded with mass quantities of colorful fish. It was pretty unreal. Also slightly terrifying. After snorkeling we went on another walk along the beach, during which the restaurant owner’s adorable dogs followed us and played energetically. Along our walk we saw starfish, sea urchins, and some beached pufferfish (sad but also super cool). After we caught the water taxi back to the mainland, we went to our favorite ice cream parlor for a cool treat.

But wait, there is more! For dinner, almost all of the ship’s company attended a Tongan feast at a nearby beach. The food was delicious, my favorite item being the Tongan pudding, which is kind of like bread pudding infused with coconut cream. After dinner we walked into a huge cave, where we watched a music and dance show.

A pretty unreal day. Feeling so incredibly thankful and lucky to be on this adventure, doing things I never thought I’d do!

Shout out to my family, love and miss you all! Especially Pearl! Will try to connect in Fiji. And don’t worry, there is a constant supply of coffee!

Also, Heather sends a big Happy Birthday to Austin!

- Emma

Previous entry: Meanders in Nuku’alofa    Next entry: Farewell Tonga

Reactions

#1. Posted by David Newmann on November 06, 2016

We miss you, Emma!  Looks like you’ve made it to Auckland?  Your and everyone’s posts have been terrific—can’t wait to hear about it all in person.

Love,
Dad


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