We had a shark attack rescue at Campbell Island a few years ago. We needed to go to Northwest Bay which is unnavigated. We went in dark at mid night and needed to hold station for a helicopter to find its way and land. We fired rockets for the helicopter to be able to see where Campbell Island was. The guy who was attacked was in the DOC hut because he lost an arm and at the time, he was just annoyed because he lost his watch. We were happy to hear that he came back later with a bionic arm.
I’ve been working for NIWA since 1991 when the Tangaroa first arrived in New Zealand. I joined the Ministry of Fisheries in 1987. As the captain of this ship my job is to maintain the vessel, navigate, ensure the safety of the vessel and the people aboard, and maximise the scientific achievements in an economic manner.
My favourite thing about the job is meeting all the scientific personnel and helping them achieve their aims. My favourite voyage was a delivery voyage from Singapore. It was somewhere we’d never been – new territory with different navigational aspects. We have had some special moments on the Tangaroa. Once we saw dolphins diving at night while the water was glowing with phosphorescence.
For anybody interested in a life at sea, the only limit is the size of your dream. You put your own limits up, but you can do what you want to!