SEA Currents: s256
Gybing, an unexpected treat, a Shipek and aloft!
Though we only left Dunedin yesterday morning, that seems like ages ago to me as I am awoken from my slumbers by a voice informing me that I have 20 minutes until watch starts, that it’s slightly chilly on deck, but there are no signs of adverse weather. I grumble some semblance of “alright I hear you,” and as the voice walks away I slowly get out of bed. It seems as if I just went to bed not too long ago…
Class S-256 Featured in Otago Daily Times
SEA Semester class S-256, The Global Ocean, was featured in the December 8 issue of the Otago Daily Times!
“A group of international research students are turning their eyes on Dunedin after setting sail for southern waters. The 23 undergraduate research students and 12 crew sailed into Otago Harbour aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans yesterday.
The 134ft steel brigantine tall ship, operated by the United States-based Sea Education Association (Sea), was on its first visit to New Zealand waters….”
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.
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.
Dunedin Doesn’t Disappoint
Today marks our first full day in the city of Dunedin! And what a day it has been. This is the furthest south I or SEA has ever been. Some fun facts about this city: it houses the first University established in NZ and had the first botanic garden in this country. Dunedin is a very different city from Wellington and Auckland. This city has strong Scottish roots in its demographic and sports blatant European-inspired themes throughout the parts of the city we have seen thus far.
Welcome to Dunedin!
Today we arrived in Dunedin after six days at sea and it is so beautiful ! A Watch was on deck as we first sighted land on the Mid Watch. Bow watch was incredible, it was a full moon and there was a beautiful reflection of the light on the water. The air was a bit cold but the Dusky dolphins surrounding us made up for it. In the morning, it was all hands on deck in order to help with field day and docking the boat. In addition to field day,
A Watch cleaned the reefer because of the mishap with the eggs.
Today started out with a beautiful night shift for B Watch. Even at 1am it was rather light out because of the moon. Seeing a pod of dolphins follow our boat with the moon’s reflection always by our side was quite a sight. We did have some larger swells that were a little difficult to navigate, but all helmspeople did a fine job keeping the boat steady. The folks sleeping down below definitely appreciated it; today was one of the first nights in a few days that everybody was able to sleep through the swells.
It’s a Swell day for Science
It’s a swell day for science today on the Robert C. Seamans...just like any other day, except today the conditions have provided us a good southwest swell to keep us on our toes. We had some strong winds this morning and it’s been gradually lying down, but the science deployment this morning was definitely sporty! The hydrocast rocked and rolled a bit in the swell. Our plankton net kept trying to surf in the waves. Dusky dolphins even came out to surf around the net and a seal pup was incongruously porpoising alongside, too.
Rub-a-Dub-Dub Tons of Seabirds in the Tub!
Starting with midnight ships time (since that’s when at least one watch starts their day), we had a very successful bat at science! It never ceases to amaze me how alive the ocean surface is when half the world is sleeping. Our Mid Watch science deployment typically consists of a Neuston tow and a surface station, collecting mysterious sea creatures that come up to feed at the surface waters at night. Tonight we caught pipe fish (see picture), flat fish larva, an ideal ctenophore specimen, a baby squid, as well as more jelly fish!
New Zealand is exactly like Nebraska… right?
First, THANK YOU to all of the family and friends that are keeping up with us via our blog and supporting us from afar. I cannot believe how fortunate I am to be spending my 2nd to last quarter of college studying with SEA on a
tall ship… in New Zealand… learning sailing and science (and some engineering) from an amazingly dedicated crew alongside some remarkable peers. Incredible, right? Everyone should get the chance to do this sometime during their lifetime!