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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans

December 21, 2014

Back in Windy Wellington

Heather Piekarz, A Watch, Hamilton College

The Global Ocean: New Zealand

Kella, Ali and I cleaning the hull of the Seamans from the small boat

Current Position
41°14.3’S X 174°50.8’E

Partly Cloudy, Warm and Windy (as usual)

Sail Plan & Course/Speed
Anchored in Wellington Harbor

When I was woken up at 0600 this morning for watch with the weather update of ‘wear your foulies,’ I didn’t know what to expect coming up on deck. Today was supposed to be our Final Mission Day, where each watch would be given a location to sail to and science deployment to complete. Unfortunately, the wind and seas picked up last night, gusting to 40 kts and forcing us to strike all sails… Looks like we’re back near the infamous Cook Strait! The missions were aborted and we resorted to motoring. Our course for Wellington was set straight into the wind, so we continued to motor through the morning. The sun did peek out just after dawn, providing us a windy, but sunny and warm approach to the Harbor. We managed to find a less windy spot further in the harbor to drop anchor, so we’ve settled here until tomorrow afternoon.

As you’ve probably gathered from previous blog posts, we do a lot of cleaning on the ship. Today provided us with an opportunity to scrub the hull and get the ship looking pretty before we pull into the dock on Tuesday. While others climbed aloft to tightly furl the sails, Ali, Kella and I joined deckhand Sarianna in the inflatable small boat to get cleaning. We tied off to different areas beside the hull, scrubbing off the rust and fender marks we had acquired throughout our journey. The small boat provided little protection from the waves, which splashed over the bow and filled our dingy with a few inches of water. We were all soaked by the end of our time cleaning, but we fully embraced it, laughing as the waves sprayed each of us in turn. We took a short joy ride around our ship, and climbed back onboard to get warm and dry off. Tonight each of the watches is busy preparing pump-up skits or songs for tomorrow’s many activities.

Most of us have turned in our final assignments, which are a relief to be finally done with. The crew has begun to talk about plans for docking, packing and travelling home. It’s starting to hit that this is really the end. I’m not going to get into the range of emotions that we’re probably all feeling on the ship right now, but I can say for me this has been an incredible trip. One thing that I feel like I’ve really embraced here is the community. Since we first boarded way back in Auckland, the saying was “ship, shipmates, self,” meaning that you look out for the ship, then your shipmates, and finally yourself. That doesn’t mean don’t brush your teeth for a week because you are too busy helping others, but it does mean that we look out for each other. Especially during the JWO/ JLO phase, we’re constantly reminding each other of our watch responsibilities and pitching in if it looks like someone needs a hand. There’s also something about not showering for 3 days, wearing the same clothes for weeks, scrubbing the floors every morning, and being slightly sleep deprived for 6 weeks that has brought us all closer. With just one full day left, I know I’m gonna try to soak up every last moment I get to spend in this awesome place with these amazing people.

Finally, I want to wish my sister, Jennifer, a very happy 15th birthday! I’m so proud to be your big sis and I can’t wait to celebrate when I’m home soon.

- Heather

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s256 • (0) Comments




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