Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tasman Sea Continued 1/4/2013

Quoting from information in the daily onboard newsletter:
- The Tasman Sea is located in the South Pacific Ocean.
- It was named after Dutch explorer, Abel Tasman, who discovered the area in 1642.
- It is commonly referred to as “The Ditch” as in “crossing the ditch”, as we are doing, between Tasmania and New Zealand.
- Although crossing by sea became commonplace in the 1900’s, earlier attempts met with various degrees of success.
- The sea is located in a region of prevailing westerly winds known as “the roaring forties,” and is frequently stormy.

Today is the second of our two-day sojourn of the Tasman Sea. This morning the captain explained that conditions no longer reminded him of a nasty day in Scotland, but instead a day in the Highlands. 

The morning remained rather calm but the winds and the motion of the ship increased after lunch. We were told that this would continue for about two hours until we came upon the coast of New Zealand. As we headed down to dinner, with land in sight, the sea settled down and we completed our "crossing of the ditch". We ended the day on calm waters, watching the sunset as the ship sailed between Southern New Zealand and Stewart Island. 

At some point during this journey, the closest land mass was Antarctica. There is a great connection between this area and Antarctica, something of which we were not aware. To hear about this connection brought back wonderful memories of our trip there. We now have wonderful experiences to remember of this trip and we are not even half-way through. Tomorrow a new country to explore...New Zealand.

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