SEA Currents: culture
March 01, 2015
The Scholar Ship
As the historian on board, I’d like to take a few paragraphs and put our voyage into a broader context, as we sail in the wake of some really interesting mariners, beginning with the Polynesians who crossed the Pacific in double-hulled voyaging canoes and arrived in New Zealand around 800 years ago. What the Maori found here was very different from what they left behind on tropical islands like Tahiti, as New Zealand has a temperate climate.
March 01, 2015
Experiencing St. Martin
Hello from St. Martin!!
It’s hard to believe that we left San Juan only a week and a half ago. Time is never to spare on board the Cramer, and the amount that we’ve done in the past 10 days far surpasses the norms of life on our home campuses. We’ve been here in St. Martin for the past 3 days, and it has been truly wonderful. Today, I was discussing with one of my shipmates the positive change in energy amongst our group.
February 17, 2015
Greetings from Russell
I have the good fortune to be writing this from the bow of our ship the Robert C. Seamans, nestled down with some tea and overlooking the sunset. The boat is blanketed in the kind of quiet that only follows a full day of adventure and excitement. This morning we rose before the sun to catch the ferry to Waitangi across the bay. By the time we arrived the sun was out and shining for our stroll to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, where we reunited with two of our dinner guests from last night—Mori Rapana, a man who has vast knowledge concerning Maori history and tradition, and his mentor Matua Wiremu Williams, a Maori elder whose openness and insight never ceased to amaze us.
February 12, 2015
Underway!...and some serious science-ing
First and most importantly, Happy Birthday Mom! Since we are one day ahead here you get two birthdays! I hope you have a great day and that the snow isn’t piling up too much.
After another calm night of dock watch alongside Princes Wharf in Auckland, we at long last prepared to cast off and hit (somewhat) open water. First in this preparation was a series of safety drills—the highlight of which was an opportunity to once again don our immersion suits (a.k.a. Gumby suits)—to make sure we all know what to do in the case of an emergency.
December 19, 2014
Tattoos and Tall Ships
Most of my maritime training has been geared towards learning about 19th Century sailors’ traditional lives at sea and at home. One of my favorite things to talk to people about is traditions that have continued into modern day tall ship sailing, parallel older traditions, or are just beginning. Tattoos, both nautical or otherwise, are a continually evolving tradition. Some maritime tattoos can simply be talismans for good luck, while other can signify great achievements.
December 10, 2014
Hongis and Happiness
Wow, what a day! This morning we hopped on the bus and headed to the Karitane Marae, a place of community celebrations and worship for the local Maori tribe (iwi), the Ngai Tahu. We were first welcomed into an old school building for an introduction ceremony. The ceremony involved a leader of their iwi greeting us in the Maori language, and then the rest of the group joined him in singing us a song. Kane, a member of the local Maori
community who is friends with our Guest Faculty Jason Mancini, introduced our class to the iwi and we sang a sea shanty for them.
December 09, 2014
With New Friends Comes New Culture
As I sat around the breakfast table this morning, our second full day in Dunedin, I could see the exhaustion I felt on the faces of my shipmates. Port life is hard. We have all gotten used to our watch rotations at sea and sleep better when the ship sways beneath us. I speak only for myself when I say that being in port is equally fabulous and horrible. It provides us with the chance to visit amazing places, meet wonderful new people, and contact our loved ones back home.
October 21, 2014
“Not a single British ship sank – both the Spanish and French were devastated, and far worse than the battle was the storm that followed… but at least we got Admiral Nelson.”
Such was spoken candidly by an archeological specialist at the Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Historico Centro de Arqueologia Subacuatica, during our first day in Cádiz. On this date, 209 years ago, the royal British naval fleet sailed in a V-formation (a noted specialty of Admiral Horatio Nelson’s) to separate the two lines of ships constituted by the Spanish and French naval forces.
October 20, 2014
Past is Present
Visiting different places in Spain by boat gives us a great perspective on the diversity of this nation. In Barcelona, they spoke Catalan rather than Spanish. In Palma, they lived on island time and had villages and agricultural terraces built into the cliffs. In Cádiz, they speak with an accent that sounds like a gentle lisp, and a short bus drive inland reveals deeply colored rolling farmland and bulls with big horns. Tomorrow, we leave the dock and head for Madeira, a Portuguese island!
October 18, 2014
This morning after a tasty breakfast of eggs and bacon, we left the port and headed to the Museum of Cadiz at 1030. We looked at artifacts from the Phoenician period dating back to 1100 BC including jewelry with intricate designs, handmade beads, and pottery. The next area in the museum was about the Roman city of Gades, which is underneath modern Cadiz, and we got to look at items that have been excavated, including a portion of the aqueduct. Greg and I have been working on a research project about the Roman remains in Cadiz, so it was really cool to actually see it firsthand and to talk with the archeologist from the University of Cadiz.