SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans
March 02, 2015
A sunny and windy day in Wellington
Docked at Queens Wharf in Wellington
My morning started out with a different sort of wake up than I’ve had on the ship. To a groggy and blurry eyed me, Sienna and Charlotte sang “Happy Birthday” with their lovely voices. Although startling, it was a pleasant surprise. To continue my birthday celebrations, Elliot gave me a gift in the form of a deck practical exam. While it was probably not the best present I have ever gotten, it was fun to see what we’ve learned these past couple of weeks. We were tested on things like line handling, tying knots, points of sail, and the crowd favorite, putting on an immersion suit. For those who do not know me or are too nice to realize it from the previous sentences, I can be a little sarcastic, and immersion suits are not well liked as in very hot weather they tend to be rather damp from previous users. However they do provide us protection in case we have to go into the cold ocean, so we are grateful for that.
Academics continued with DC&V presentations in my watch class. We got to see their ‘Sea Experience’ projects first, which ranged from Scoop’s “how many of her clothes she has actually worn on the trip so far” to Eric’s “how much time and where he has spent it on deck.” Their next projects were ones that dealt with either MHC or C&M. I could tell that they had all put a lot of effort into these projects and it’s cool to see the fruits of their labors come to life. It must also be a relief to have one or two assignments out of the way as the end of our program is creeping up on us. Arriving in Wellington has been a relief to a lot of us. Not just because we’ve been on a boat for over a week without any land in sight, but because we have a lot of work left to do. As Mary said, many of us have research to do in Wellington. Charlotte has to ask the people of Wellington what it’s like to live on so many fault lines. Emily gets to go see some wind turbines. DOR/POR (the oceanographic research projects) have drafts due on Thursday of their results so far, and Conor and Jenny are finally going to be able to weigh their fish brains after they dissect them. It’s difficult to do these things when everything around you is constantly moving. No matter what each person has to do, I think I can say for all of us that we are grateful to have these two extra days.
As for the rest of my day, Sienna and I walked around the city after some delicious peanut butter brownies made by the fabulous Lauren. I didn’t have the chance to do much exploring in Auckland and we had such a short time in Russel and Paihia, so I wanted to see more of the urban side of New Zealand. Surprisingly, I almost felt I was back on the best, I mean, west coast of the states. The amount of second hand stores, quirky knick-knack shops and dreadlocks reminded me of a drier and windier Portland, OR. Meanwhile, Liz, Matt, David and Anthony were exploring the nature side of Wellington. They took a 45-50 minute hike up to the top of Mt. Victoria to see a spectacular view of the city. Because of its topography, Wellington is not the easiest place to urbanize so there are many nearby areas you can go to escape the city and appreciate nature.
To wrap up my night, I went to dinner with Sienna, Jill, Hayden, Conor, Anthony, Matt, Liz and David and walked around until nine or so. I went to bed, read a book and listened to some sorely missed music before falling asleep, a great way to end a great day. To all of those at home, both in Washington and California, I love and miss you all! Well most of you. I’m having a fantastic time and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.
P.S. Yes Mom, I am taking pictures.