Clear waters run deep in the Kermadecs

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.

Clinton Duffy pauses to write notes as he swims along a transect near North Meyer Island counting Galapagos sharks and big fish such as spotted black grouper © Richie Robinson

Clinton Duffy pauses to write notes as he swims along a transect near North Meyer Island counting Galapagos sharks and big fish such as spotted black grouper © Richie Robinson

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.

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7 Responses to “Clear waters run deep in the Kermadecs”

  1. Barbara Chinn

    Hope the botany and bug team are as spectacularly successful as the dive team! What a fascinating environment – a bit like the missing link between hot and cold habitats by the sound of it. I wonder whether the land invertebrates and plants show the same links.

    Reply
  2. Andrea Low

    Hello Tom and Stephen – exciting reading the posts and what adventures! Take care – Andrea, Chris and Lili

    Reply
  3. David Reeves

    Hi Tom and Ged (and all your companions),
    it’s excellent being able to follow your progress and see the photos.

    I expect you are having a great time with such abundant sealife all around to discover. A couple of storms have roared past us in the last week and I have wondered how you are getting on without the solidity of the Museum building to protect you.

    And how’s the onboard cuisine looking for week 2??

    Looking forward to more pictures and stories. The blog is such a good distraction from all the other things I ought to be getting on with!

    Keep well
    David

    Reply
  4. Kirsten

    Hi Tom and the team,
    Great to be able to follow your voyage through the blog. The diving sounds fantastic, the stuff dreams are made of! Brilliant photos, what an impressive sea hare!

    Reply
  5. galapagos

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