Lindblad Expeditions - From the Oceanic Discoverer in New Zealand - Michael Nolan, photo instructor

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From the Oceanic Discoverer in New Zealand

Jan 31, 2013 - Oceanic Discoverer

Common dolphins approaching the Oceanic Discoverer
Sunset over the Pacific Ocean

At Sea, North Island

Searching my heart for its true sorrow,
This is the thing I find to be:
That I am weary of words and people,
Sick of the city, wanting the sea;

Wanting the sticky, salty sweetness
Of the strong wind and shattered spray;
Wanting the loud sound and the soft sound
Of the big surf that breaks all day…

…I should be happy, that am happy
Never at all since I came here.
I am too long away from water.
I have a need of water near.

Excerpt from EXILED

- Edna St. Vincent Millay

It doesn’t matter what color your hair or eyes or skin are. It makes no difference what language you speak, music you listen to, or even what country you reside in. Religion, race, and even age don’t really alter this simple fact: when it comes down to it, most of humankind is drawn to the sea.

Perhaps to walk on the shoreline and listen to the waves breaking. Maybe to watch the moon rise over a calm and gentle ocean. To ride upon it as humans have been for untold centuries. Some choose to immerse their bodies and souls into its salty grasp. Whatever the reason, the sea calls to us, and like a turtle hatchling from it’s nest, we return to the water.

A day at sea is always a gift, a time of contemplation and reflection, a chance to think and be thankful for all the treasures in our lives. The slower pace of a ship lends itself to these pursuits, as the swell gently lifts us spiritually and emotionally, as well as physically. Step back from the frenetic pace of life and simply lose yourself in the rhythm of the ocean. At the end of the day I wonder where does the time go so quickly on such a lethargic kind of day?

The power of the sea is ours to reach for, if we choose to go with it, not to fight or rail against it. Let it fold us into its own beauty. Today all on board the Oceanic Discoverer had just such an opportunity, as we sailed from Wellington towards Napier along the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand.

I, too, have a need of water near!


About the Author

Michael S. Nolan·Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Michael Nolan was born in Bitburg, Germany to an Air Force family stationed there. His first experience of the ocean came at age 12, when he learned to snorkel in the Italian Mediterranean. At age 17 he moved to Tucson, Arizona and became a PADI SCUBA instructor, before starting a SCUBA diving business that specialized in diving trips to the Sea of Cortez.