Another productive day at the Kermadecs. Literally four seasons in one day (Kermadec style) led to a complete wardrobe change at lunch time for the two boat teams into our winter woollies, including Richie who changed into his dry suit and was toasty for the rest of the day. Squally weather from the NE meant that the Braveheart moved from its anchorage at the Meyer Islands down to Denham Bay which provided a lovely sheltered spot. Once leaving the Meyer Islands the boat-based research teams headed west to work on the sheltered side of Raoul, after getting thoroughly soaked along the north coast.
Plenty of whales were seen but the regular squalls made staying with groups difficult. Our second day on the water was very successful with one satellite tag deployed on a mother with a calf and a further six skin samples. We also took many photo-identifications including a whale that we had seen and photographed yesterday. Our chef on board, Charlie, whipped us up a wondrous whale-themed pie to warm us all up at the end of the day.
We are privileged to be undertaking research on endangered humpback whales in New Zealand’s soon-to-be largest marine protected area. Great to be here and part of an amazing team but missing family back home including Freya and Liam. Hoping for some more settled weather tomorrow to dry out all the gear and get some more whale data in the bag!
By Simon Childerhouse