SEA Currents: culture
Prime opportunity to get new shoes
Kia ora! After 6 weeks onshore of learning about the Māori history and culture, today we finally were able to visit with the Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei hapu (subtribe). We didn’t let our travel delay deter us from having an enjoyable morning, so before boarding the one bus in all of Auckland (thanks Ben and Jeff), we spent the morning lounging on the quarterdeck, playing games, and learning some new ASL signs.
A Visit to Pahia and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds
Yesterday class S-263 and crew arrived to the Bay of Islands and enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner aboard the Seamans with a few locals. Today we visited a town named Pahia (or “Heaven”, so called for its historic church presence), and the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where New Zealand’s historic land and power treaty with the British crown was signed. In order to get to Pahia and the Waitangi Treaty grounds, our class and crew first lowered and boarded a motorized dinghy from the Seamans to Russel (or “Hell”, so called for its brothel, bar, and tattoo parlor presence in the 18th - 19th century). We then rode a ferry to the small dock at Pahia.
Craving Sea Under Sail
Ahoy family, friends, and fellow followers –
The itch and anxiousness to find open seas have overcome us all. Thoughts of escaping the dock and unfurling the sails are brought up often between one another. But putting aside our sailing excitement, one last port day in Auckland awaited us.
Happy Halloween from the Cramer! Today is our belated celebration of Halloween on the ship as we head for the Canary Islands from Madeira. We’ve spent the last few days in Madeira and have had a wonderful time there, and now we head for the Canaries. We spent some of our time in Madeira touring the island, visiting some of the inner mountain ranges and then heading for several cities on the Northwestern side of the island.
The Ruins of Baelo Claudia
So far, today has been yet another cloudy (and occassionally rainy) day for us in Cadiz. On the bright side, the sun has shined through every now and then as the afternoon progresses. Much like the past few days, a little rain won’t stop us today!
At 0900 this morning, we hopped on a bus and made our way down to the ancient Roman city, Baelo Claudia, located a little bit west from the Strait of Gibraltar. Baelo has long been abandoned but luckily, some its ruins have been excavated, allowing us to travel back in time to learn about this once very important Roman city.
Andalusian Paradise: Cadiz
It’s been thirteen days since we left from Barcelona on our voyage in the Mediterranean and the Eastern Atlantic along the Spanish coast. Along the way we encountered pods of dolphins, pilot whales, hammerhead sharks and stunning sights ranging from Spanish and Moroccan peaks to the gorgeous views of the area surrounding the Strait of Gibraltar.
Small Island, Deep Roots
As was the case with Samoa, Wallis has been unexpectedly bursting with places to see, people to talk to, and daily lifestyles to witness. Wallis, or Uvea, is a French overseas territory of only about 9,000 people, and it’s been largely excluded from the world of online information. When I first explored the capital town of Mata’utu on Saturday afternoon and found the streets to be mostly deserted, aside from the occasional car passing by, I couldn’t believe that the country’s capital might be as empty as its Wikipedia page. It turns out that I just wasn’t looking hard enough.
We’ve Made a Friend or Two
As this blog’s title suggests, we have certainly made a friend or two in our travels. It all started on the plane ride to American Samoa, where many people were headed to visit family. I remember being exhausted and staring blankly into space when a man looked at me with a toothy grin said “Hey man, be excited! We are all headed to American Samoa!” At this point I snapped out of my trance and knew we were headed to a different place.
Landfall in Wallis
Today was the day we had all been waiting for. Although we came within a mile of Wallis yesterday, we couldn’t enter the harbor because the high swells would have made the narrow entry too risky. Today, however, the swells were smaller, and Captain Sean deemed it safe for us to enter. We aimed to pass through the 300 foot wide channel at around 1000 local time, when the tide was supposed to be favorable.
Under sail again
Today is our second full day underway from Mallorca, heading towards Cádiz. There are some pretty big swells, but other than that the weather is nice and mostly clear right now. We had a little rain last night, but then the stars came out, and it’s great to be able to see the Milky Way band (our whole galaxy sideways!) and various constellations. This sail is about three times as long as the passage from Barcelona to Mallorca that we already did, but fortunately we’ve been having less seasickness overall than last time around, and seem to be adjusting better so far.