A Birthday Gift: Sniffing My Pits at the Wellington Laundromat

March 6, 2024

Author: Brooke Levan, A Watch, Oberlin College ‘25

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Ship's Log

March 3rd, 2024Position: Docked, 41° 17.091’S x 174° 46.816’EShip’s heading and speed: Not moving, still at Wellington woopwoopWeather: many, but mostly sunny…until the end with some blustery gusts offorce 9 winds!

Hello hello from across the Pacific O!We are officially back under way after some very lovely days at port inWellington! Some of you may have received special calls with updates galoreof all our adventures--it was so nice to hear from you all back home! Aftersome days off the blog, I have the daunting task of summarizing what exactlywe all got up to during our busy days in ANZ’s capital. Spoiler, it was alot!March 1st, Day 1:First day in port, we speedily (yet thoroughly) ran through a field day toget the ship all spic and span. (I cleaned a side of the Hobart that I thinkhad been forgotten about for some time--thick dust). We then all prepared toventure ashore. It was quite the transition leaving our cozy little shipinto a bustling downtown. Everyone was quite impressed with our ship—I wasfeeling like a real celebrity as people marveled at our masts and asked totake pictures. Katie, Bethany, and I quickly set off on our mission to finda Laundromat. Sleeping bag sacks and backpacks stuffed with our saltylaundry we had a nice jaunt through the city streets before arriving at ourdestined location. In between loads we jetted off on some miniadventures—including our first ice cream on shore! Peppermint and coconutpeanut sesame, sooo yum! We were running on a real laundry high after ourclothes came out. I couldn’t stop smelling how flowery goodness the armpitsof all my shirts now smelt. And so very soft, huzzah! We happened to bedocked close by the annual dragon rowing races that were taking place so weenjoyed some delicious Thai food at the waterfront and joined the crowds incheering on the rowers! I got to end the day with a lovely sunset over theharbor before heading back to join Ms. Bobby for A watch dock watch.March 2nd, Day 2:We had an early start getting off the ship and speedily made our way up upup the steep hilled neighborhoods to reach a gorgeous Botanical Garden atthe tippity top. It was well worth the hike. There was a lovely rose garden,various paths, and sculptures to enjoy. The roses not only smelled deliciousbut were each donned a special name—best one was a magenta colored rosenamed “Hot Pants.” We took the trolley back down the rolling hills, grabbeda quick, yet tasty lunch, and the jetted off to our tour of ANZ’s Parliamentbuildings! I didn’t have many/any expectations going in and was quitehappily surprised by how much fun we all had! (Although I don’t know ifanyone had quite as much fun as Chelsea who seemed to be living out hergovernment major dreams standing behind the press conference podium!) Bestfact that I learned was that royals can only walk on red carpet thus thelegislation room is decked out with green carpets to keep them from too muchmeddling! Also, shout out to our awesome tour guide Liv and the super dinnerrecs she gave us J We spent the rest of the day wandering about—this led usprimarily to various book shops, more food (at a place called Abrekebabra),and more ice cream!March 3rd, Day 3:I awoke early this morning to help with A watch morning chores. But thistime as I wiped and sprayed all the handrails and stairs, I felt a littletingle, something different inside me…why it was the fact that I was a yearolder! Woohoo, birthday port day! Leaving behind a clean boat, my superbirthday adventures began with a stop for pastries and coffee before headingto the highly anticipated Te Papa museum. This national museum is 6 floorsof incredible interactive exhibits that explore ANZ history, environment,and culture. Some highlights included a super ginormous squid, naturebushwalk, and section on Maori rowing. Although that is just the smallamount I could get to—after about 5 hours inside I had only seen about 2.5floors! Once we were thoroughly museumed out we spent the rest of the daydowntown finishing our final shore to-dos—more laundry, snack cravings, morebooks, some phone calls etc. By day 3 we were navigating the Wellingtonstreets like true pros, no maps needed! I ended my day of festivities with astudent family dinner in the park, a ginger beer toast (courtesy of Juliaand Chelsea), and of course…a final ice cream! A huge shout out thank you toall my shipmates for making me feel so special on my 21st —you are all thesweetest and made me feel so celebrated!Next up on the cruise track, Kaikoura! Fingers and toes crossed we see awhale (we will surely let you all know if we do)!Cheers!Brooke Levan, A Watch, Oberlin College ‘25

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