Friday, 29th January 2016

Getting Amongst It

Getting Amongst It Featured Image

We get to work alongside a range of Scientists, to explore this region and find out why it is so critical to understanding climate change and ocean health. Along with Science & Conservation leaders we will complete a sea floor survey, use a ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle), collect plankton, and take sediment cores from the sea floor to create a picture of the geological history of the area. We get to visit shipwrecks and historical sites of human endeavour and we get to observe albatross, sea lion, and yellow-eyed penguin in their natural environment. We will also repair the weather station near the site of Blake Station - a newly proposed Science & Research facility for NZ. Here's some more detail for you...

Sediment Core Collection

The crew of Polaris will be collecting sediment cores (both piston cores and UWITEC long cores from the coring barge) from the fiords to analyse for a time series of climate and environmental change. This process will take 10 days and will be under way by the time the Young Blake Expedition arrives on board HMNZS Otago. Student voyagers and crew will transfer to Polaris in small groups to participate in this activity, which the scientists on board Polaris will treat as a teaching exercise.

Weather Station Repair

In 2014 the Young Blake Expedition crew established a weather station at Smith Harbour. On this voyage Professor Craig Cary (with student voyagers assisting) will carry out repair work on the station, particularly relating to the batteries and solar panel.

Soil & Kelp Sample Collection

Collecting samples of shore-based kelp at Smith Harbour, Norman Inlet and Hanfield Inlet.

Peat Coring

Dr Chris Moy will be collecting peat and sediment cores from inland Lake Hinemoa to analyse for a time series of climate and environmental change. Student voyagers and crew will transfer to Auckland Island at the top of Musgrave Inlet and will travel on foot to the lake in small groups (6-8 people) to participate in this activity.

Plankton Tows

A fine mesh net will be towed behind a RHIB/zodiac to collect samples of plankton in the water column. Ideally three plankton tows will take place in each of Smith Harbour, Norman Inlet and Hanfield Inlet. This activity will be led by Sally Carson and Dr Rebecca McLeod with small groups of student voyagers/crew assisting. Samples will be processed, analysed and preserved each evening.

ROV Survey

An opportunity to learn about the shape and nature, flora and fauna on the seafloor and rock walls in the vicinity of the proposed station, and to assess the potential impacts on this ecosystem. This work will ideally take place on board a RNZN RHIB or zodiac, which is able to tow the ROV. A couple of expedition crew will be required to operate the ROV/equipment and small groups of crew/student voyagers may assist. Ideally this work would take place every day – one day each in Smith Harbour, Norman Inlet, Hanfield Inlet and Fly Harbour (Adams Island).

Carnley Harbour Orientation

Visiting the Coastwatchers’ Hut in Carnley Harbour (Tagua Bay) and well as the site of the Grafton Wreck (Raynal Point) and Erlangen Clearing. In 2014, student voyagers and crew spent an hour travelling around the harbour by RHIB visiting these sites.

Enderby Island Orientation

HMNZS Otago is scheduled to leave the Auckland Islands on Thursday 11th February, and it would be ideal if the final stop before heading home could be at Enderby Island/Port Ross. This would provide an opportunity for the group land on Enderby Island, to learn about and see the flora and fauna of the region, conservation goals and work that has taken place and is occurring here, and to walk around the island.

Port Ross Historic Sights Orientation

Landing at Ranui Cove would provide an opportunity for the group to visit the Ranui Coastwatchers’ Hut and walk to Lookout Point. It would also be great to see the Enderby Settlement/Hardwicke sites at Erebus Cove.