Tangaroa left Wellington on schedule at 4.30pm on Thursday 4 January. We reached the Chatham Rise survey area early on 5 January, but we’ve headed straight into a tropical low pressure system (a big storm) with up to 50 knots (100 km/h) of wind, and swells of up to 6 metres. For some reason the ship has been relatively quiet, with people retreating to their cabins which are lower in the ship and more stable to prevent seasickness. I have been doing considerably better than Tory, but all in all it could have been a lot worse. This means for 3 days we’ve watched a few movies, read books, and slept. When we’re not doing this, we’ve been enjoying the ship’s amazing cuisine and probably eating more than we should. This meant we only managed to carry out one trawl in the first 2 days of the voyage.
It’s been 3 days now and Tory has just had her first shift, however I have yet to see a fish. We’re currently hauling in the 4th trawl of the survey, so hopefully this is about to change! With us are 13 NIWA scientists on board, and the survey runs for 31 days until 3 February, with 126 trawls planned in phase 1. The image above is of the crew hauling in a trawl with a huge net. The net is held afloat with yellow bouys, and is winched into and out of the water with a machine operated winch. Stay tuned to see some of the cool organisms that we haul up!
Below image is of an albatross gliding it’s way out at sea.
BLAKE NIWA Ambassador 2017