(Not-so-fond) Farewell to Macauley

Warren and Peter have returned from their stint ashore on Macauley Island, and describe the island as ‘heinous’! Getting around was slow and scratchy due to chest high ferns hiding soft soil pockmarked with seabird burrows. I’ll post more about their trip later but for now it’s an update on our whereabouts.

Straight after their pick-up we lifted anchor and steamed for 2 hours to Cheeseman and Curtis islands. We are now anchored in the passage between the two islands, and the intention is to do one dive this afternoon.

We are now at latitude 30 degrees and 32’, and longitude 178 degrees and 33’ west for interested seagoing types that want to pinpoint our exact location.

Curtis is the larger of the two islands, and is definitely an active volcano – it is steaming away, and we can smell sulphur in the air.

Large and active: Curtis Island has signs of life and a smell of sulphur

Large and active: Curtis Island has signs of life and a smell of sulphur

The smaller of the two islands is Cheeseman. Both these photos were taken from our anchorage.

Dropping anchor: the Braveheart has anchored in the passage between Cheeseman (pictured) and Curtis Island

Dropping anchor: the Braveheart has anchored in the passage between Cheeseman (pictured) and Curtis Island

 

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9 Responses to “(Not-so-fond) Farewell to Macauley”

  1. Chris Cantlay

    two rocks in the middle of nowhere,hello Tom and Stephen: how’s the life aquatic? [those red hats and all] love Chris

    Reply
  2. John Barkla

    I thought Peter and Warren were made of sterner stuff! Look forward to hearing what new plant discoveries they’ve come up with amongst the fern, sedges and guano.

    Reply
    • Melanie

      I think sticking it out looking for plant specimens on Macauley after the 6.1 earthquake was pretty stern stuff but it probably didn’t endear that island to them! Will let you know what they turned up despite all challenges

      Reply
  3. Patricia Hammond

    Id love to see the other side of Curtis Island – as that must be where the vent to the volcano is. The photos are amazing – and note the blue sky. Is it always fine up that way!
    Im learning so much about this part of the world – thankyou

    Reply
    • Melanie

      Hi Patricia, thanks for all your great feedback to the blog. We’ve got a couple more shots of Curtis coming tomorrow and some close-ups of Cheeseman Island from the land team. And, although the sky’s seem fairly permanently blue in the Kermadecs at the moment, you’ll see that doesn’t necessarily translate to calm waters!

      Reply
  4. Clyde Leggett

    Wow! Not a lot of shelter there if the seas pick up!

    Reply
  5. Stephen

    One of the past curators of the Auckland Museum was named Cheeseman, a botanist I think? Is the island named after the same?

    Reply
    • Melanie

      Hi Stephen, you’re right, it was named after Thomas Cheeseman and yes he was a botanist at Auckland Museum where he established the beginnings of the collections you see there today. I am reliably informed (by Wikipedia) it was named after him following his visit to the island in 1887 on board the NZ Government steamer ‘Stella’.

      Reply
  6. Pip Grant-Taylor

    Thomas Frederick Cheeseman, after whom Cheeseman Island was named, was the first botantist to collect specimens from these islands and he was indeed a botanist at Auckland Museum, but he would be better considered creator of the Auckland Museum as it is now. His dream for a new home at the domain, was completed after his death in 1923. He is considered the father of New Zealand botany and as Curator of the museum, spent almost 50 years of his life building the Auckland Museum into a world renown institution. His efforts towards New Zealand botany and his correspondences with scientists around the world, including Charles Darwin, won him the Linnaean Society’s Gold medal. (The equivalent of a Nobel prize for his times). Wikipedia has glaring mistakes in that biography which cannot for some reason be corrected. I am his great grand daughter and my family has considerable quantities of information about him and we all, his descendants hold him in great and deserved reverence.
    Pip

    Reply

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