Getting to Auckland from Boston is not an easy task. My route was an 11-hour flight from Boston to Honolulu and then 9 hours from Honolulu to Auckland. Auckland, unlike Boston, is in the middle of summer so escaping a New England winter is much welcomed. Before we officially boarded our ship and began the at sea part of our program, many members of S290 went to Waiheke Island and enjoyed the beaches. I went on a hiking/sightseeing trip to the Waitakere ranges and Piha beach. Most of the program stayed in a hostel together which was right in the middle of town and a great location for food and shopping.
Today, as I write this, we went aboard the Robert C. Seamans for the first time. My first impression of the boat itself is that for the size of the ship it has a whole lot more space onboard than it looks like it should. It has a separate library and eating area which is different than the Corwith Cramer, the sister ship. For our first meal we were provided with spaghetti and delicious homemade bread. Most of the day was spent learning procedural duties. It was a super long day and a lot of information was thrown at us. During these lectures one in the lab, one about watch and one in the engine room we were separated out into our watch groups (A, B, & C). The engine room is super hot and full of intimidating equipment. The lab has lots of cool equipment as well that I cannot wait to tryout. And finally learning about watches was an insane amount of information, good thing in the future each of us will have a ton of practice doing them!
We each have a small bunk with varying amounts of storage and some with portholes. My advice to any future SEA members is pack light; you really need to sleep with almost everything you bring. There are two areas of the boat where the students have bunks and the crew are scattered throughout. There is also a galley, a library, an eating area, wet and dry labs, a chart room, four bathrooms (heads) and two showers. For 134 feet this boat has a lot to offer. Not to mention a beautiful deck and housetops (roofs of the lab and chartroom) up above, where we hangout on.
Overall every member of the crew seems super nice and we are all super excited to work with them and learn from them. Until Monday we are stationed at Princes Wharf in Auckland. This gives us time to learn procedures and get used to the boat. It also allows us to explore Auckland more as a group and do more of the educational things here we would not have done on our own. The water here is turquoise and sailing through it is going to be an amazing experience.
- Kaitlin Kornachuk