The expedition has begun. Seventeen crew, scientists and documentary makers on board the RV Braveheart. Mountains of diving, sampling and camera equipment stowed below deck. Following a giant game of boat packing Tetris, the RV Braveheart departed Tauranga 18 October on the 1130 slack tide. She will take two and a half days to reach the Kermadec Islands.
Our tasks for the next few days are simple … sleeping, eating, reading, chatting with new friends, catching up with old ones, checking equipment, discussing plans and rolling with the motion of the ocean. For now we are enjoying the voyage and the anticipation of adventures that await us 30° south of the equator. The sea conditions are reasonable and we are keeping an eye on a low pressure system forming south of Fiji. If it intensifies into a tropical cyclone, we will be hitting some big seas tomorrow. But our fingers are crossed that it will diminish and it will continue to be smooth sailing.
By Phil Ross