After a 13-hour flight, I made it to Auckland, New Zealand! Although the Sky City is not the capital, it’s by far the most populous city in the country. I’m certainly no fan of metropolitan cities (unless it’s in Southern California), but Auckland has been nothing but impressive thus far! Here are a few photos from my three-day adventure in Auckland while we patiently remained docked at the Prince’s Wharf.
On Thursday, S-264 visited the Auckland War Memorial museum to learn all about the awful tragedies that the New Zealanders were forced to face during World War II and the events leading up to it. The museum also incorporated exhbits about Maori culture, New Zealand ecology, and some future developments of the New Zealand commercial industry. There was an incredibly cool simulator to show the future of the airplanes of Air New Zealand – glass walls, 3D TV monitors, and a bigger, comfy seat!
On Friday, our maritime studies professor, Jeff managed to get S-264 an invitation into the local Marae (a secluded Maori community center). There, we participated in a traditional ceremony. We watched the Maori sing their songs and then we heard some elders tell some stories of their culture and values. We learned that this tribe is environment-oriented and spend a lot of their time helping preserve the local natural resources. Because mussels are natural filters (they can filter 1.5L of water per minute!), the Maori have developed a project where they plant thousands of them in the harbor to clean the water and encourage life to flourish. They’ve also planted 300,000 trees in the area!
After a two hour presentation, we were taught the Maori way of introduction, and as soon as we touched all the elders’ forehead and noses with our own, we were sent off to the dining room, which was filled with egg sandwiches and tea that were waiting to be gobbled up by hungry seapeople!
After a long 3 hour program filled with cultural exposure and beautiful sceneries, we were once again aboard our mobile home, Robert C. Seamans!
By the way, for those who are curious, here’s a photo of my cruise track
Without further ado, as of 2/20/16 13:00, we’re off to make our way to the Bay of Islands!