Biting off more than you can chew

Sometimes things don’t always turn out as you’d expect. The weather has been better than we could have possibly hoped for. There have been fewer sharks and more whales than in previous years. We’ve found algae where we expected coral, the grouper have been surprisingly charismatic and there have been large aggregations of amorous sea hares.

A beautiful sunrise over Braveheart and the Meyer Islands.

A beautiful sunrise over Braveheart and the Meyer Islands.

But sometimes things don’t go to plan … and it can hurt. For example, take the grouper shown in the photo below. Maybe he was just cruising along looking for a meal. Maybe a bluefish, maybe a Kermadec scalyfin? Perhaps just doing what he usually does. Unfortunately for him, on this particular occasion it looks like he bit off more than he could chew. When we last saw this old fella he was sulking in cave, trying to figure out how to cough up the large and inflated spiny pufferfish lodged firmly in his mouth. We wish him all the best.

Black spotted grouper with a spiny pufferfish stuck in its mouth.

Black spotted grouper with a spiny pufferfish stuck in its mouth.

The expedition is now past the halfway point and everyone is busy checking off items on their agendas. The science team has been has been wrapping up their survey work and focusing on their collections. The Natural History New Zealand crew has been trying to pack in as much filming as possible. Lindsey and Tamra have been heading out to South Meyer Island at 5:45 AM and the underwater boys are blowing bubbles by 8 o’clock. They’re whittling away at their shot list, but it wouldn’t be possible without the amazing Braveheart crew. From around the clock boat driving and five star meals to a full blown laundry service and an invaluable knowledge of the islands, the trip would not be the same without them. To Matt, Billy, Charlie, Elliot, and Andrew, thanks for the amazing voyage so far. Here’s to the last week!

The crew of the RV Braveheart.

The crew of the RV Braveheart.

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