SEA Currents: s256
Stonehill College Promotes New SEA Semester Affiliation
SEA Semester® in the News:
“SEA Semester Affiliation Puts Students at the Heart of Oceanographic Research Around the Globe”
Stonehill College website | Feb. 23, 2015
Alexis “Ali” Johnson ’16 will never forget the night she felt the sky and ocean were alive, at once, all around her.
It was around midnight, and her ship was cutting through the South Pacific off the coast of New Zealand.
“The sky was perfectly clear,” says the mathematics and environmental science double-major.
Ever since writing my last blog post I have been concerned about this one. What would I say about our very last day? How would I sum up this voyage and do the rest of my ship proud? I am not this vessel’s most artistic writer, in fact I tend to write very technically and without flourish. I am not one of the people on this vessel who has been in love with this experience from the very beginning; I am grateful for it, but also ready to come home to my family. So how could I possibly be the right person to write this final blog post?
Longest Day, Last Day: Bright New Beginnings On the Horizon
Today was a day of great significance: celestial, emotional, and developmental. For us here in New Zealand it is December 22nd, the Summer Solstice. It was the last full day of our program, full of fun activities, cleaning, and general wrapping-up procedure. Most of us finally enjoyed a moment not dominated by battling the seas or racing to an assignment deadline: during this opportunity to reflect we realized how much we’ve changed and what we’ve learned over the past three months together.
Back in Windy Wellington
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!
Well, I lucked out to be able to write the blog today, but my only problem is how to describe how perfect today has been. We started the day waking with the rising crescent moon competing to take over the sky with sunrise. The sun’s rays greeting us along with a warm, calm northwest wind (yes, I stated that correctly, WARM north winds!) with blue skies to follow. The four lowers were raised for the last time as we go to anchor tomorrow nearing completion of our voyage.
What’s cookin’ on the RCS
Hey everyone, Ben the Assistant Engineer here. Checking in and bringing you an update on the current status of the good ship Robert C. Seamans as we make our way north on the last leg of S256. Everything seems to be switching to end-of-trip mode—the students are spending every free moment finishing up homework and projects, and the professional crew are already preparing lists of projects to accomplish during the next port stop and turnaround period.
One more day in the harbah!
It’s becoming increasing difficult to write this blog entry as Becky repeats every sentence and KP files through the numerous photos of our journey that have been uploaded to the library computers. However, this reminiscing has made me recall all of the amazing memories that class S256 will share forever. For instance, yesterday (16th of December) we were given a fair amount of free time to traverse the Lyttleton/Christchurch landscape, which was great.
Don’t Make Me Leave
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM AND AUNT BETH!!! I love and miss you so much, I wish I could be there today! I can’t wait to see you in just about a week.
Today we saw more sunshine and fun in Lyttelton! It’s amazing what a difference we’ve had between here and Dunedin. Three days of sun and we’re all looking like a crew of lobsters. But we’re not complaining! This morning we had our normal cleaning duties and then went right into a few hours of study hall.
The surprisingly small town of Lyttleton has welcomed us with gorgeous weather and wonderful people. After a typical port morning - breakfast and cleaning - we headed out to Christchurch for the day’s activities. A short drive through beautiful green mountains brought us to the Ngai Tahu Government Office. Ngai Tahu is the largest Maori iwi (tribe) on the South Island, with over 53,000 registered members who can trace their whakapapa (lineage) back to an 1845 census.
Tutus and toothbrushes - A Day in the Life
The wind and swells were very strong this morning – during class, the gimbled tables were swinging back and forth so vigorously that they came right down to our knees, and then up to our chins. Jason (who was teaching) went to get his camera, and documented slight absurdity of teaching us about whaling communities in Alaska while the saloon swung back and forth in the swells, accompanied by the hearty crash of pots and pans in the galley. Post-lesson, we successfully deployed a Neuston tow and surface station, and managed to process pH and chlorophyll-a before handing over to the next watch.