For the six of us who were part of the Kermadec scientific team (Tom, Ged, Malcolm, Vincent, Richie and myself) we feel as if we’re back home, while the eight newbies are quickly getting the hang of the boat and its layout.
Skipper Matt Jolly has given us the all-important skipper’s briefing – a low-down on the boat and all its safety equipment, and the most important thing of all: how to flush the toilets (or heads, if we’re being properly nautical). Boat toilets are always trickier than any other kind, and nothing ruins a trip at sea faster than a toilet that is not working, so it’s good to get the official instructions.
Moving on … as we journey towards the Kings I thought I would introduce you to two members of the team that already have a history with these remote islands. In fact between them underwater photographer Ian Skipworth and NIWA scientist Malcolm Francis have visited them 12 times and they’re very keen to get back there.
Before signing off I’m sharing the view that faced us this afternoon. This photo makes me very, very happy! Why? Because the sea doesn’t come any calmer than this, and a mirror-like sea is great for everyone’s stomachs. We’ve made our way up the east coast, with the northern Bay of Plenty to our left (or should that be on the port side?), while out to the right Mayor Island was looking clear and striking. We’ve seen flying fish jumping, Charlie the cook served up a delicious lunch, the sun has been shining and everyone onboard has been getting to know one another and talking about their plans for the trip.
If this is a sign of things to come, I can’t wait for tomorrow.