Two weeks down and two to go! We are officially halfway through the trip and making our way, slowly, back towards the mainland surveying as we go.
We began heading towards the Chatham Islands, hung around the north side for a few days and now we are heading back west towards Christchurch. So far, we have journeyed nearly 4,000 km (nearly twice the length of New Zealand) and are currently about 150 km west of the Chatham Islands.
It has been a busy and great two weeks. We have made fantastic progress through the survey and learnt lots along the way. Our 58th trawl is being sent down as I write this, and we’ve sampled 42.8 tonnes, measured 30,186 fish (with a total fish of 13.4 km), across 232 species.
The first few days of storms are a distant memory, – most of the weather since then has been relatively calm and sunny with a few clouds. The boat has a never-ending fan club of albatross, petrels and shearwaters, which is a welcome sight during coffee breaks.
The team is working like a well-oiled machine, so here’s hoping the next two weeks are smooth sailing and easy fishing.
Another interesting event this week was notification we were in the potential debris field (abort zone) for the next Rocket Lab launch from Mahia scheduled from 20-28 January. We have had good communications with Rocket Lab, but modified our survey design to ensure we were out of the designated areas at potential launch times. Rocket launches are certainly not a factor we expected to take into account!
Above image: Black dragonfish.
Below image: Tangaroa’s voyage so far.
BLAKE NIWA Ambassador 2017