I just spent a beautiful sunny morning at the Overseas Terminal welcoming Golden Bear and its crew to Aotearoa. Many of my colleagues and I convened on the pier early so that we could see the ship enter the harbor, and I’m glad we did. It was a great pleasure seeing Golden Bear round Point Halswell and steam toward us. My colleague Mike had probably the best vantage point, up on Mt. Victoria with binoculars and a camera in hand.

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Golden Bear in Wellington harbor.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Golden Bear is carrying approximately 250 cadets from the California Maritime Academy on a training cruise of the South Pacific. Cadets in dress uniform lined the rails on the various decks, many waving as the ship settled into its berth. They seemed delighted to be arriving in New Zealand for three days of fun and exploration.

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Looking good, as the tugs move the ship into place.

I boarded, met with Captain Harry Bolton, and toured the ship. We were joined by Cal Maritime’s President, William Eisenhardt, who had flown in yesterday from California to participate in the festivities here in Wellington.

The ship came to us from its home in Vallejo, California with a stop in Pago Pago, American Samoa. After a few days here in Wellington, Golden Bear (with President Eisenhardt onboard) will sail for Australia and then stop in Auckland en route home to the United States.

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As soon as the ship berthed the ruggers onboard headed to Basin Reserve for some exercise and practice after so much time at sea. I was surprised to learn that several key players just graduated and are thus not on this cruise, but I still liked what I saw. We are going to have an enjoyable game on Tuesday.

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With the ruggers on the field, most of the cadets disembarking to explore Wellington, and the Captain and President heading up to Martinborough for a nice afternoon of wine exploration with Kiwi friends, I guess I’ll have to leave the ship as well. While the sun’s still out, I’ll go get some much needed exercise, hiking up in Wrights Hill Reserve. Say hi if you see me on the trail.