THE JOURNEY

Candid Moments

Shelley McMurtrie
7 Feb 2011 - 21:13
Candid Moments
Pleurophyllum in flower
Southeast Harbour
Monument Harbour from Pizeau Peak
Shelley sampling
Itchy nose
Blurtas
Sea lion
Sea lion
Campbell Island Shag
Skua
Campbell Island Teal
Yellow-eyed penguin
Campbell Island Snipe
Farewell party

The field component of our CIBE programme is almost complete. Tomorrow (the 8th February) we will be loading our gear onto the Naval vessel HMS Wellington and leaving the shelter of the Perseverance Harbour on the 9th to head back home.  

This will be my last before making the trip home, as tonight the BGAN satellite will be packed away ready for loading. There are many blogs and videos yet to come, to cover all the trips and experiences here, but they will have to wait until...

Norm Judd
5 Feb 2011 - 20:57
Candid Moments
History and Archaeology
Steve & Nelly

Expedition members are winding down their field visits, packing away equipment, samples and supplies for the return home and doing last minute checks on research to make sure there are no gaps that will definitely turn their results into toast on arrival home (after 9 February there’ll be no going back to Campbell Island for a quick look).

With all the bustle of closing down the expedition I am reminded of the 1916 Campbell Island farm station diary in which the headman wrote...

Colin Meurk
5 Feb 2011 - 20:45
Candid Moments
CIBE Team
Swamps & Carla
Carla
Carla
Carla & Colin
Alex F
Re-used lunch paper
Mallow puff daisy
Albatross & daisy
Harbour lights
Harbour lights

Well ‘swamps’ did warn us from day one! “There are only 64 days left before we sail back to the mainland. And when you take out Christmas, New Year, bad weather, ship visits, sea lion bites, etc.; well, you might as well pack up now”! Swamps, alias Mark Crompton, weather observer, is the official ray of sunshine. But in a sense he was right. The 9 weeks at the beginning seemed to stretch out forever into the...

Colin Meurk
20 Jan 2011 - 21:07
Candid Moments
Bites healing well
Sea lion pup

The sea lion bites are healing well – getting to the itchy stage and am off the antibiotics. That experience has made me a tad cautious – verging on the paranoid, as I poke under every tussock and fern in my travels around the coast - where there is a possibility of another close encounter. Like this evening on the board walk – got past one sea lion beside the track and almost immediately encountered another – or rather an amorous couple of sea lions – biting...

Norm Judd
19 Jan 2011 - 21:13
Candid Moments
History and Archaeology
Charging up the hill

Many year’s ago, someone said I must try to find So-and-So’s cave on Campbell Island. I can’t remember So-and-So’s name but let’s say it was Fred Blogg. His cave was said to be high up on the northern slopes of Campbell Island’s North East Harbour. Campbell Island is remote. Fred Blogg’s cave is remote on Campbell Island. The last time someone went there must have been in the 50’s or 60’s. Or so they said. And they found an old enamel...

Shelley McMurtrie
15 Jan 2011 - 21:45
Candid Moments
CIBE Team
Bringing the Maia's tender aboard
Eddie - Maia crew member
Maia's plush interior
Alex and Shelley
Alex and Annabel
Garden Cove team photo
Colin, Shelley, Ben, and Annabel
Farewelling the Maia
Maia at anchor

It is 10.30pm and I am just back from taking photos in the waning light and persistent drizzle. The base is quiet with the Maia having just left, sounding its fog horn as it lifted anchor and drifted off into the rain and mist. In a way it is like the silence that descends on a house when the kids have gone back to school, that seems all the more quiet after the fun and laughter of the school holidays (funny I should be using that simile given that I have no children of my own!). With our...

Shelley McMurtrie
15 Jan 2011 - 20:49
Candid Moments
CIBE Team
CIBE Team
CIBE Team
CIBE Team plus Artists
CIBE Team plus Artists and Maia Crew

With the Maia here for four days we had the opportunity to follow the time honoured tradition of taking an expedition team photo. The usual place for this is down at the wharf by the ‘Welcome to Campbell Island’ sign, but the island had other plans for us. We awoke this morning to steady rain and low cloud that gave the definite impression that it had comfortably settled in with its feet up, and had no intention of moving on for some time.

The process of taking any type...

Mark Crompton
9 Jan 2011 - 21:06
Candid Moments
See video

Having had a long-time interest in meteorology, I am the Expedition’s unofficial weather forecaster and receive weather-maps per the MetService Radiofax transmissions.

Interpreting these maps for the Expedition enables me to spread dismay, despondency and despair daily. I have a natural talent for this anyway and indeed doom and gloom is one of the few things I’m very good at.

If the weather is bad, as it often is here, I advise the team to make the most of it...

Shelley McMurtrie
8 Jan 2011 - 21:22
Candid Moments
Freshwater Ecology
Hooker Valley
Time For A Rest
Mrs. MacGyver
Water Sampling
Ready To Head Back To Base
Mt Faye Saddle
Grateful For Waders
Getting Closer To Base
Time To Rest

After a four-day trip away to the northern extremes of the island we were on our way home again. We had traversed and sampled a part of the island seldom visited by people – Hooker Stream that runs through the Hooker Valley. With the local name of ‘starvation valley’ I guess it is no surprise that not many people decide to frequent this part of the island (or return if they do), but I was thoroughly chuffed we made the effort.

On the final trek home with a pack...

Colin Meurk
8 Jan 2011 - 21:12
Candid Moments
CIBE Team
Standard And Peg
Quadrat 'E'
Quadrat 'E'
Quadrat 'E'
Golden Light
The Mood Gathers

My heart is nailed to Campbell Island
like the aluminium pegs pushed in peat 40 years past
to mark plots with unknown futures
but with some secret aspiration to monitor vegetation change
forever -
attributed to sheep forgotten by shepherds half a century before

And here i am again
trying to locate these spots, being covered over by peat and plants
with fading memories and sepia pics
with fading muscles on spongy puds –...

Alex James
2 Jan 2011 - 20:36
Candid Moments
Sandy Bay Skua
Sandy Bay Sea Lions

The other day I was contemplating that since landing all our gear and settling into the base I have had no worries about anything being stolen. Back on the mainland l always make sure the door is locked and the alarm is set which I guess is testament to most peoples constant vigilance about protecting their possessions. Here on Campbell Island there are no locked doors and stuff, while getting misplaced sometimes, never gets stolen. I guess this is partly due to the expedition consisting...

Mark Crompton
2 Jan 2011 - 20:30
Candid Moments
Leslie Clifton Memorial
Leslie Clifton Memorial

I have cleared encroaching vegetation from the memorial to Leslie Clifton close to the former Magnetic Hut. Clifton produced the first topographical map of Campbell Island in 1946 – it was the standard reference for 40 years until the Department of Lands and Survey published the modern map in 1986 based on aerial photography by the RNZAF in 1984. Clifton worked in very difficult conditions without the aid of modern equipment and instruments today’s cartographers take for...

Colin Meurk
2 Jan 2011 - 20:15
Candid Moments
CIBE Team
Panorama From Mt Paris
Hook Keys
Folly Island

Campbell Island is really an archipelago of little dots in the ocean. On a larger scale it is part of the NZ bioregion’s subantarctic island domain comprising the Bounty’s, Antipodes, Snares, Aucklands, Campbell and Macquarie Islands (the last is a territory of Australia). Many of the islands are highly significant as refuges and as geographic limits, and for the memories they bring back to me.

In December 1980 ecologist Martin Foggo and I were dropped by helicopter...

Mark Crompton
1 Jan 2011 - 20:45
Candid Moments
Handwritten Note By Alma Mosley

When I arrived at Campbell Island with the Bicentennial Expedition on the 8th of December 2010 I went up to the Met. Office in the Tech. Building to assist Wayne Lowry from MetService with the AWS (Automatic Weather Station) calibrations. On the wall of the office is the following note written in flowing script with a fountain pen.

‘In remembrance of my dear brother, Ralston Hawea Thomson, who worked on Campbell Island as a Shepherd with three other men. I was twelve years...

Shelley McMurtrie
31 Dec 2010 - 21:25
Candid Moments
Freshwater Ecology
See video

With the rest of the CIBE team back at base camp for New Year's, Alex James and I were making the most of the good weather to sample streams to the west of the island. Northwest Hut was our home for three nights and where we spent New Year's Eve.

We had a big day in the field that day, getting back to the hut around 9pm. We didn’t have much in the way of food or drink to herald in the new year, but we decided we could make our own fun out of our nightly chores. Maybe...

Alex Fergus
31 Dec 2010 - 20:43
Candid Moments
Penguin Bay Hilton
Penguin Bay Hilton Sign
Penguin Bay Hilton Masterchef

Canadians are a fine good bunch, and ingenious to boot, a character trait most kiwis can approve of. Canadians also have a rich cultural heritage. It should have been no surprise to me then that my Canadian host at the Penguin Bay Hilton had started to create his own versions of the staple foods of New Zealand back country huts. Two of these achievements in particular come to mind. In the cold and clag one afternoon down at the Rockhopper Penguin colony, my spirits were a little revived to...

Alex Fergus
30 Dec 2010 - 20:40
Candid Moments
Penguin Stream Waterfall

Just a quick note today to point out a funny little wonder. At the cliff edge – between the summits of Yvon Villarceau Peak and Mount Paris – Penguin Stream flows out and over the cliff edge, to crash below, reform as a stream, and flow through the Yvon Villarceau Penguin colony. All of these topographical elements are features of the West Coast of Campbell Island, and as such, they are subject to some ferocious winds. The result is that most of the Penguin Stream waterfall is...

Alex Fergus
28 Dec 2010 - 20:07
Candid Moments
Mountain Daisy

The 28th of December! My dear wee sisters 26th birthday, so here I am sending flowers, or at least a picture of one. This is the smallest of the megaherbs (macroforbs), Damnamenia vernicosa. Latin is always a mouthful, but this little guy has no common name, so for the sake of the audience let’s dub it the Subantarctic Mountain Daisy. Usually these have a disk floret (centre) that is deep purple, but I have stumbled across this white anomaly, a rare treasure, and a wonderful present...

Shelley McMurtrie
25 Dec 2010 - 20:55
Candid Moments
CIBE Team
See video

Christmas on Campbell Island is a bit different to your normal NZ Christmas. The weather for one thing is a lot harsher down here, and there are also jobs to do before we can relax on Christmas morning. After a morning wakeup call we ripped into our Saturday morning base camp clean up (always on a Saturday and not even Christmas can prevent it) and then it was time to relax.

So for a Christmas mid-morning 'Champaign' (or in our case Mountford Riesling wine) celebration we...

Alex James
23 Dec 2010 - 20:31
Candid Moments
Albatross Party

On the mainland Christmas often seems to sneak up on you but unless you are a hermit that shuns the media, you always know it is coming by all the advertising that starts as a trickle in November and becomes a torrent in December.

This year I have found myself in the novel situation of being away from all forms of media since December 3rd. Thus I have not watched television, listened to the radio, read the newspaper, or surfed the Internet during the period of Christmas overload....

Shelley McMurtrie
6 Nov 2010 - 19:05
Candid Moments
Ella's Picture
Jamie's Picture
The Three Kids

I got a lovely letter in the post from my sister who lives in London with her husband and three kids. It was about how her two eldest kids—Ella and Jamie—have been looking at what their Aunty will be up to on Campbell Island, with pictures that they had drawn for me. I have posted the pictures and part of the letter here, as I think that they are just lovely.

Thanks Ella and Jamie and big hugs to you both, as well as Mia (and of course your mum and dad!).

...

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