'Expedition' 2004

Steve O'Shea

TONMO Supporter
Staff member
Nov 19, 2002
Well, have just returned, am rather exhausted, had positively horrendous weather (think of rain blowing UP HILL, and heading into a 5m swell, with wind chop, with reef breaking on both sides of the boat within 4 or 5 metres of your path); it prevented us from going anywhere near where I'd wanted to go, in fact the opposite end of the country ... but such is life.

I've just included a couple of pics of what we got up to, when the weather allowed us to get out, and when I could find shelter from rain and wind. The 'cuppa tea' (we colonials like our cuppa) balanced on the side of the boat was indeed of rare occurrence.

Long story short, no suspense, we didn't get the larval Architeuthis ... but this should come as no surprise being ~ 1000km from where I would expect them to be (where they were experiencing 11 metre swells, winds to 186km/hr ......). Mustn't worry about such things; there's always tomorrow, and we'll be out and about over the next few days trying again.

I'll describe what went on in more detail soon; have a lecture to prepare right now ... and am .... as per usual .... behind.



.... a few more

The goop is the product of a 10-15 minute plankton tow (using the fine-meshed nets); both nets and light traps were deployed; masses of plankton were collected - tremendously variable in composition over short spatial and temporal scales.

In the pics you see Peter Conway (Masters student at AUT) and David Grann (New Yorker reporter).

A typical night started at 7pm and finished at 9am the following day. Need some :sleeping:



Sorry the trips were so unproductive :( .......................if it's any consolation no-one down here is getting anything they want either due to the weather!

I see you're giving some public lectures for seaweek (a national marine awareness week run by the dept of conservation and others) good luck for those!

hell's bells ! Looks cold and unfriendly!
some sleep and some :beer: pints sound better than tea!

Great photos...thank you for sharing so much...good luck at the lecture(s)

p.s. can't you lure in the squidlings using N. Diamond music? I have heard that the Humbolt's will attack instantly if they hear it ! Of course, they are more used to Mexican polka music...
Attack? They are entranced. They simply seek to possess the source of their delight.


You are absolutely right about the :beer:, though.

The sea be a harsh mistress, it is. Many a salty dog has been lost in the embrace of Cthulhu's minions. Avast!

Also, beware the devourer of the deep, the King Prawn. Many a sailor has gone mad trying to flee from this monsterous crustacean. There be no escaping the king prawn. Arrr, baby... hit me one more time...

Much sleep later ....

Not catching the larval GS last couple of weeks isn't a biggy, although it was something I'd obviously wanted to do; it'll just make catching it again that much more rewarding. Thankfully an enormous amount of money wasn't spent chartering a vessel in Wellington, that would have ended up being tied to the dock anyway (the beauty of being mobile in a wee boat).

I'll be heading out again in the immediate future, post 19 March (when I get a few things out of the way), in waters off Auckland (NZ), ~ 600km from where I'd like to/need to be. The primary objective now is to catch 'anything' and salvage something from the past few months hard work on squid husbandry - would like to bring you pics of other live pelagic/oceanic squid in tanks; it seems like an eternity since I've had such things live in tanks. I've got lots of new gear that I'd like to test; who knows what the outcome will be.
The downside to preparing the midnight(?) cuppa tea in a smallish open vessel out on the open ocean, is that, with your attention thus diverted, you become an easy mark for any gargantuan molluscan pickpocket who happens to wander by.


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