UPDATE (21 May 2011): A bit stressful last weekend when we couldn’t work out why Alison wasn’t sending any blogs through. It’s the first time we’ve tried something like this, and figuring out all the pieces of the communications technology has been a fascinating experience. Turns out that the break in transmission was due to the Museum’s spam filter! It’s obviously not used to all the scientific classification flowing through meanwhile the RV Braveheart‘s system continued to work impeccably. Really pleased we worked it out and are able to get fantastic posts again this weekend.
Apologies to all you keen blog followers we have run into a few communication troubles with the boat which we are hoping will be all sorted out by tomorrow.
In the meantime I have had a quick chat with Alison and Tom on the boat and been told the expedition team are happy and busy and getting in lots of dives. Below are a few snippets from our conversation and fingers-crossed we’ll have lots more posts and pictures from tomorrow!
Tom says it’s magical being in a place that is protected above and under the water.
“Every dive we make has the possibility of finding creatures new to the Kermadecs, new to New Zealand and even new to science.
“Last night we found a mysterious eel that none of the fish experts on the boat can identify – so it might possibly be a new species but we won’t know that until we get back from the expedition and can send it to an eel expert to confirm its identity.
“At dusk and dawn the skies are filled with thousands of sea birds.
“It feels like the tropics in terms of how clear the water is, plus there are a few corals but at the same time there are invertebrates which is more typical of northern New Zealand rocky reefs.
“What amazes me is that the marine life here is a real mix of temperate and tropical, a unique blend that I haven’t experienced anywhere else in the world.
“We have seen everything from whales to tiny plankton. The waters here are rich in many kinds of fishes including the protected spotted black grouper – some up to 1.5 metres long – and Galapagos sharks, both of which are fearless and curious. Life on the islands themselves is also teeming.
“It is very exciting being part of what is probably the largest scientific expedition and certainly the largest marine expedition in the Kermadecs.”
So that’s the news from the ship for now – stay tuned and hopefully we’ll have some more pictures for you soon.