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Posts Tagged "Kermadec Islands"

Expeditions

Kermadecs Islands: Going home

Goodbye Kermadecs. Heading home on the HMNZS Canterbury. Photo Rebecca Priestley.

Down the microscope, the jar of seawater and zooplankton that Helen collected off the back of the ship has revealed larval jellyfish, tiny crabs, sea lice and microscopic organisms – things like ostracods, copepods and chaetognaths. These animals are all clues to how the wider Kermadecs marine ecosystem works. The Kermadecs is not an area [...]

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Expeditions

Kermadecs Islands: snorkeling around Meyer Islands

A Crown of Thorns starfish in the waters around Raoul Island. Photo Libby Liggins.

This morning, I went snorkeling around the Meyer Islands – a small island group just off Raoul Island – with the expedition scientists. Libby Liggins, Clinton Duffy and Stephen Ullrich were collecting seaweeds, corals and starfish and Helen Bostock was hoping to gather some marine sediment. I saw a bright yellow grey drummer, a yellow [...]

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Expeditions

Kermadecs Islands: Whales on the starboard bow

Green Lake fills the active part of the Raoul Island caldera. The last eruption, in 2006, deposited mud and killed trees around the lake. Photo Rebecca Priestley.

“Whales on the starboard bow,” was piped throughout the ship this morning. Rochelle Constantine, a marine mammal specialist from the University of Auckland, raced to the armory to get her biopsy gun and camera. Within 20 minutes she and Clinton Duffy were in the RHIB in pursuit of the whales. From the bridge the Navy [...]

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Expeditions

Kermadecs Islands: Becoming a Raoulie

There’s always a few pukeko on the lawn in front of the hostel on Raoul Island.

Kermadec petrels (Pterodroma neglecta) and Kermadec white-faced storm petrels (Pelagodroma marina albiclunis) have been landing on the deck of the ship. These seabirds breed on Raoul Island and the nearby Meyer Islands, and plummet down from their cliff-side nests to feed in the ocean. With a diet of small squid, fish and krill, they are [...]

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Expeditions

Kermadecs Islands: Dolphin chasing, whale watching and wrestling the Galapagos shark

Clinton Duffy wrestling a Galapagos shark on the stern ramp of the HMNZS Canterbury.

Today, we circumnavigated the island in a RHIB, looking for dolphins and hoping for a few whale sightings. There was no sign of the little dolphin pod that greeted us the day we arrived and no whale signs but we’ll keep looking – people on Raoul island have been seeing whales every day. In the [...]

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Expeditions

Kermadecs Islands: Shark fishing with Clinton Duffy

Clinton Duffy and Melania Napa’a with the Kermadecs smoothhound – an undescribed species and only the fifth specimen known to science.

What was I saying about science and serendipity? On Thursday we had an unexpected haul of pumice fresh from an underwater volcanic eruption. Last night we went fishing for Galapagos sharks and found something better. Clinton Duffy, Department of Conservation shark biologist, is here to study Galapagos sharks, one of the top predators in the [...]

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Expeditions

Humping and dumping, Kermadecs style

The Seasprite loading up for one of 40 loads it carried to the island today. Photo courtesy NZ Defence Force.

Last night, when Lieutenant Tim Oscar, the Officer of the Watch arrived at the bridge for his midnight to 4am shift (seriously, that’s what they do, all the lights on the bridge are turned off and they watch the sea) he noticed something strange. He turned the ship’s spotlights on and discovered the ship was [...]

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Expeditions

Kermadecs Islands: A Serendipitous ‘Event’

Helen Bostock’s serendipitous haul of brand-new, freshly minted pumice rocks.  Credit: Helen Bostok

I went outside at first light and found the ship in the middle of a heaving grey sea, with nothing but ocean and sky in every direction. Three dark-winged birds – probably petrels – swooped and dived amongst the waves. It might look like a great big nothingness, but there’s a lot going on in the ocean [...]

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Expeditions

Kermadecs Islands: New Zealand’s Remote Ocean Wilderness

Kermadec map

“You can’t escape the geology in New Zealand,” said Helen Bostock, a marine geologist on the voyage. “It’s in your face whether you like it or not.” It’s true. As we left Auckland this morning we were sailing away from two erupting volcanoes: Tongariro, in the middle of the Taupo Volcanic Zone, had just erupted [...]

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