Too little too late. Laying aloft on the main

March 11, 2024

Author: Alex Smith (A Watch) and Julian Swensen (C Watch)

Sunrise Viewsmall

Ship's Log

March 7, 2024Position: Anchored at Pigeon BayWeather: Sunny, warm, low winds

This is a joint effort as both of the writers missed their blog days. OopsieJ.Most of the day has been spent at anchor in Pigeon Bay. We have used thiswonderful opportunity at an anchorage sheltered from the wind and largeswells to get training in going aloft, taking a ride around the bay in therescue boat, and having a class discussion about Whale Rider, the book weare all reading. It has been a crazy awesome adventure and today added tothe wonderful experiences we have had thus far. Going aloft for the firsttime was spectacular. Climbing through the rigging, along the yard, andlooking down at our tiny ant sized shipmates and the sparkling water belowmade me want to dive right in. It would have made an awesome diving boardbut alas the adults would not allow it. A lot of water probably would havegone up our noses anyways. We also got to take Gene (our small on boardsailing dingy) for a test drive around the bay.(Julian) The gorgeous sunrise picture outside of Kaikoura does not do itjustice but was probably my highlight of the trip thus far. The sun lightingup the rugged coastline and the still snowy mountains from the ocean was aspectacular sight to see. Being back on the ocean and sailing into beautifulbays has made me realize how much I missed sailing and traveling to remoteplaces that very few people ever get to see. There have been so manyreminders of the life I once had with just my parents and I making our wayto places we never knew existed until we arrived. There are so many memoriesthat never seem to be captured well enough. We have all been trying so hardto make this short time we have together as memorable as possible. Seeingthe stark beauty of Aotearoa New Zealand for the first time has been sospecial and a once in a lifetime experience that we are all sharingtogether.(Alex) My face hasn't seen the light of day in about 2 full years. I feelnaked, even with a goatee remaining. Tonight, I will be removing anotherchunk of hair and getting a Farmer Allen moustache. On another note, my Tevatan-line is unfortunately slowly fading as the weather gets colder andwetter as we move further south, and I am wearing wool socks and rain bootsL. But in our next port stop in Dunedin, I will be sure to get thosetan-lines back. I've been really enjoying my time in the lab on ship. I amrealizing how boring my nutrient and chlorophyll independent project is, andwish I had chosen to research some of the incredible biodiversity thesewaters have to offer. The neuston tows always bring surprises onto the boat,including a variety of bioluminescent species, copepods, crab larvae,jellies, worms, and LOTS of salps (which actually don't taste that bad).Walking, sleeping, and living my day-to-day life has never been this hard inmy entire life, but my happiness and gratitude has only grown in these lastfew weeks, and I hope I can carry everything I have gained here into myfuture life.(Julian) I probably should have told more people that we had a blog that isupdated daily but oh well. The important people know about it and that'sreally all that matters to me. I miss home, my friends and family, but theyall know how awesome this experience is. It has been amazing getting tolearn more about this beautiful country that I wished I had made it toearlier but am glad to be here now. Seeing Aotearoa from the water isspectacular but I cannot wait to travel more once I am off explore thebeautiful landscapes I can see from the ocean.  It has been great being onthe boat and learning more about what it takes to live on a boat of thisscale. I have seen so may beautiful things so far, each more spectacularthan the last, but can only imagine how much more there is yet to see. Loveyou Mom and Dad, Nana and Papa, and Grandma Joy. I will give you all the rundown once I am back on land and send you some more pics of my travels andadventures. Also, you should probably tell Riley that there is a blog causeI forgot and actually didn't tell anyone.(Alex) To my friend and family back home, I miss and love you all so much. Iam excited to return, but I never want to leave this magical place. Also,turns out insanity is a product of standing lookout in the hours of 0400 to0700 on dawn watch. I've sung Taylor Swift's "Love Story" more time than Iwould like to admit during those hours.Alex Smith (A Watch) and Julian Swensen (C Watch)

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  1. Grady Aronstamm March 12, 2024 at 09:22 - Reply

    Alex, Glad you’re taking advantage of an extraordinary opportunity. Looking forward to seeing your face again! Uncle Grad

  2. Anonymous March 18, 2024 at 18:53 - Reply

    Hi Alex
    Loved your blog. Sounds like you’re having a great time. Can’t believe you’re time at sea is almost up. Can’t wait to see you and hear all about it.
    Love you

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