We have shifted from our anchorage on the northern side of the Meyer Islands around to Boat Cove on the south side of Raoul. It’s a beautiful sheltered spot, and gets us out of the rising wind. We’ve been lucky for the last couple of days, but it finally seems as if the weather is coming to get us, and out in open water the swells are building.
The boat Tranquil Image is anchored near us – they’re packing up all their equipment and heading home today. Carl and Vincent joined the dive team for this morning’s rotenone station, and they’ll be joining us over here on Braveheart later today. The Navy ship Otago spent the night anchored near us, and although I know they’re about to head north to Tonga and the Pacific I’m not sure when they leave.
The dive team are in raptures about this morning’s dive. The visibility underwater was well over 30 metres, and Tom and Ged said when they got in the water and could see the bottom beneath them they thought it might be about 12 metres deep. It seemed to be a slow descent, but they finally got to the bottom they realised that the reason it had taken so long to get down was that they had actually descended to 25 metres!
The interesting thing about the Kermadecs is the mix of species here – a unique blend of cool water critters from the south mixed in with subtropical and tropical stuff from further north. It’s too far north and too warm for all the big brown algae we see in New Zealand, but it’s not warm enough for coral reefs to form. There are, however, lots of corals here, and Richie the photographer says he is always looking for opportunities to take photos of creatures familiar from cooler New Zealand waters, like a moray eel, sitting in a thicket of distinctively lush tropical coral.