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SEA Currents: Robert C. Seamans

March 20, 2018

Been There Dunedin That

Claudia Davis, Emma Garschagen, Brandeis University & Kenyon College


Land makes us crazy!

Current Position
44 50.17’S x 171 55.3’E

Ship’s Heading & Speed
c/o 000, speed 4 knots

Clear skies and calm seas with force 5 winds

Souls on board

Claudia D: Hey Emma G. How’s it going?
Emma G.: Hey Claudia! I’m great. So excited to go to sea for the last time with you. How’s C watch, loser??
Claudia D: Yikes.
Emma G: I didn’t mean loser I'm sorry I said that.
Claudia D: It’s ok. Water under the bridge. Or should I say bow lolololol anyway let’s write a blog together.

It was a busy weekend for us kids all the way down here at 44 degrees south. On Saturday, March 17th, SEA class S277 caught a bus over the hills and through the woods to be welcomed by the Ngāi Tahu Puketeraki hapū in the town of Karitane on the Waikouaiti River. Our hosts, Hinerangi, Brendan, and Alex, welcomed us to their land to teach us about Wairua, their river restoration project. We donned some spiffy life jackets and went down to the riverside to participate in invasive species removal and native planting featuring harakeke, native flax used in Maori weaving and rope making. Our fleet consisted of four paddle boards, a sailing waka, and two paddling waka which ferried us, our plants, our tools, and our lunches over to a sand spit for the afternoon. Before we cast off, Hinerangi gave a karakia, a prayer that acknowledged that we were about to leave Papatuanuku, the earth, for Tangaroa, the water. We were so eager to get our hands in the dirt after spending days at sea that the weeding and planting flew by. Our enthusiasm was not without so so so many boat jokes. We probably frightened the American university students that joined our group with our shouts of “make fast the plant!” and “that’s well on the water!” Aren’t we stupid?! Thanks to our speedy planting, we had time for a brief visit to the seashore on the other side of the spit. A long lunch in the dunes and a leisurely trip back across the water closed out our visit. We said goodbye to our hosts, but just for the afternoon, because they joined us on the ship for dinner that night.

On Sunday, we enjoyed a day off in Dunedin, complete with stunning weather (weethah) and topped off with thrifty finds at thrifty stores. We returned to the ship for an all-hands dinner (thx Sabrina) followed by the Sense of Place class’s story hour. Way back when in Auckland, Captain Elliot commanded us to buy an item at a store called Look Sharp – picture a dollar store chock full of New Zealand souvenirs and costumes -- and then keep that item secret until “further notice.” For the much anticipated story hour the entire ship got all decked out in their look sharp best, making for a room full of plaid, plastic flamingos, LOTS of floral, and the occasional speck of glitter. Claudia was both the birthday girl and the first storyteller, kicking off a killer evening of tales that jerked our hearts and warmed our tears (so says Emma G.). We laughed, we cried, and we started to realize just how little time we had left together as a ship…

Emma G.: That’s it. It got too sad. We have to stop writing this blog.
Claudia D.: Before you go, will you sign my yearbook? I want to remember everyone forever after we graduate!
Emma G.: H.A.G.S!

- Claudia Davis, C Watch, Brandeis University & Emma Garschagen, A Watch, Kenyon College

Categories: Robert C. Seamans,The Global Ocean: New Zealand, • Topics: s277  study abroad • (0) Comments
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