At Sea off North Island, New Zealand
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
By John Masefield (1878-1967)
(English Poet Laureate, 1930-1967)
The Oceanic Discoverer departed Hawke’s Bay in Napier at first light, out into the open sea along the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Calm protected waters were slowly replaced by a running sea as we turned our bow to the south and continued our journey towards Wellington. We started to see more and more seabirds and soon the ship welcomed the sightings of royal and shy albatross, sooty shearwaters, and flesh-footed and westland petrels. Common dolphins chose to interrupt presentations on more than one occasion and were welcomed by photographers and watchers alike.
A day at sea brings plenty of opportunities to hear from our expert staff on all sorts of topics ranging from the history of New Zealand, photographic breakout sessions, and local flora and fauna. Of course these presentations are punctuated by wonderful meals, wildlife sightings, and shared stories amongst new found friends as well! After a scrumptious dinner, Captain Gary Wilson regaled us all with tales of his time aboard many different tall sailing ships, harking back to a time when the wind alone drove ships around the world’s oceans.
Tomorrow we will be in Wellington, and the excitement is building! Stay tuned for further updates…