THE JOURNEY

CIBE Team

Shelley McMurtrie
29 Dec 2011 - 18:00
Island Life
CIBE Team
See video

An email from Carla about how we would celebrate Christmas and New Year away from Campbell Island got a few Christmas memories going for the CIBE team. For Mark Crompton his Campbell Island Christmas memories are:

"Songs down at the wharf, Mountford pinot, mussels fritters, vodka steeped in sweet vernal, tangos...

Shelley McMurtrie
17 Dec 2011 - 18:00
Island Life
CIBE Team
Timber under the Hostel at Beeman Base, Campbell Island Bicentennary Expedition
Rubbish under the Hostel at Beeman Base, Campbell Island Bicentennary Expedition
Steve Croasdale, flaky pastry, Campbell Island Bicentennary Expedition
Steve Croasdale, flaky pastry, Campbell Island Bicentennary Expedition
Steve Croasdale, flaky pastry, Mountford, Campbell Island Bicentennary Expeditio
Rolling pin, Campbell Island Bicentennary Expedition

Steve Croasdale was our ‘can do’ handy man on the expedition. While he didn’t pop up a lot in our island blogs he was always there working away on repairing and maintaining the base camp buildings on behalf of the Met Service.

Part of this involved clearing out the rubbish that had accumulated under the floor of the Hostel building for many years. A number of strange items came out of that pile, but among...

Shelley McMurtrie
12 Dec 2011 - 18:00
CIBE Team
See video

With the one-year anniversary of our expedition to Campbell Island upon us, I have dragged out the video tapes and taken a trip down memory lane. One video that I know many of you were hoping to see was of our trip down to the island – charging through the raging seas of the roaring forties and furious fifties. Who can forget the excitement of the departure, with this being the first sojourn for the Royal New Zealand Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessels (...

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...

Norm Judd
27 Jan 2011 - 20:11
Island Life
CIBE TeamTechnical Assistance
Colin welcoming Norm
The Maia
Watties, what else
Mince pie time
Mince pie and wine
C4 coffee
Survival Kit Company
Broken window

This is a personal thank you to all the individuals and organisations that have made the archaeological assessment of Campbell Island’s historic sites possible. It is an all time first.

This thank you comes a little early because the expedition is not yet over but I’ve seen and experienced enough to know that the expedition would not have been possible without sponsorship, donations, and technical support and assistance.

From a personal point of view the most...

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...

Colin Meurk
9 Jan 2011 - 21:35
Island Life
CIBE Team
Campbell Island Pipit
Happy Quadrating
After The Encounter
Tooth Marks
Concerned Medical Man
A Concerned Daugther
Puncture Wounds
The Attacker

While in this World Heritage location we have to be especially careful to avoid damaging the environment and disturbing the wildlife. We endeavour to apply the 5 m rule – giving any birds or marine mammals a wide berth. Of course there is nothing in the manual about the wildlife disturbing us! For example, pipits don’t (as Pete McClelland succinctly puts it) observe the 5 m rule and frequently slow down ‘traffic’ by insisting on running along the tracks in front of...

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 –...

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...

Colin Meurk
1 Jan 2011 - 20:31
Island Life
CIBE Team

The Island is small but it expands according to the difficulty of walking in the soft pillows of peat, moss and swamp. And there is so much packed into such a small space, and its ever-changing moods make Campbell Island such an intense and rich experience. Although movement around the island requires a high level of fitness many of the island’s plants and animals that contribute to its magic are readily accessible. This was most apparent yesterday as we sat on the jetty with...

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...

Mark Crompton
25 Dec 2010 - 20:45
Island Life
CIBE Team
Christmas Dessert
Mountford Wine - Christmas Selection
Christmas Cake

It’s Christmas Night 2010 and the Campbell Island Bicentennial Expedition has been here for nearly three weeks. Carla Meurk and Alex Fergus put on a fine Christmas Dinner and as is traditional we all ate too much. Between the main course and dessert our Leader, Colin Meurk, put on a treasure hunt and it struck a distant chord from childhood birthday parties over 50 years ago.

After dinner I walked around to the old Coastwatcher’s Camp in Tucker Cove and it suddenly...

Alex James
25 Dec 2010 - 20:35
Island Life
CIBE Team
Christmas Choir
Rain Chases Everyone Away

Christmas morning on Campbell Island was a little different to past Christmases on the mainland I have experienced. It started relatively normally with a tasty pancake breakfast, but since it was a Saturday, our scheduled base cleaning day, after breakfast I was cleaning toilets. While there is nothing particularly difficult about cleaning toilets, it is probably not something most people would usually undertake on Christmas morning.

Once the base was spick and span, we then had to...

Colin Meurk
23 Dec 2010 - 20:10
Island Life
CIBE Team
Perseverance Harbour
Perseverance Harbour
Glimpse of I’le Dent
Koromiko and Onion Plant
Button Daisy
Aniseed-Smelling Carrot
Sea Lion on Front Lawn
Pipits
Feeding Time
Perseverance Harbour
Tucker Cove

One of the many memorable and distinctive aspects of our daily interactions with and experiences of Campbell Island is the ever shifting patterns of light, colour, shade, dark, gloom and even (!) dismal conditions.

The sun and wind continually play moody tunes on the sea, wildlife, plants and our very existence on the Island. It is not exactly subsistence; but there is deprivation – ambient inside temperatures are around...

Shelley McMurtrie
22 Dec 2010 - 21:41
Island Life
CIBE Team
See video

The NZ book titled ‘a river rules my life’ comes to mind down here on Campbell Island. Not because we are sampling streams, but because of the similarity to how our lives are completely ruled by a single factor - the weather.

The evenings end with Mark Crompton downloading the weather fax at 10.15pm and writing a forecast that is posted on the hallway wall the following morning. The day then progresses either along the forecasted weather route or can deviate remarkably...

Shelley McMurtrie
22 Dec 2010 - 20:54
Island Life
CIBE Team
Beeman Base
Beeman Base
Cloud Formations

The NZ book titled ‘a river rules my life’ comes to mind down here on Campbell Island. Not because we are sampling streams, but because of the similarity to how our lives are completely ruled by a single factor - the weather.

Days can progress either along the forecasted weather route (thanks Mark) or can deviate remarkably, although in our meteorologist's sage words (that's Mark), he is rarely wrong... What ever happened to that snow fall you predicted?

...
Steve Wagstaff
22 Dec 2010 - 20:28
Island Life
CIBE Team
Perseverance Harbour
Alex Fergus
Veronica elliptica
Damnamenia Vernicosa
Chiloglottis cornuta
Lyperanthus antarcticus

It is challenging to move about and work on Campbell Island. The lower slopes are covering with dense dwarf forest and chest high tussocks. The ground is soggy and uneven and a mislaid step can easily wake a napping sea lion. Most of the time they are only mildly annoyed, but some of the young males have a chip on their shoulder and can be aggressive. They’re large animals, with two inch yellow incisors, and they drool. It takes nerve to stand your ground when they come loping at you...

Steve Wagstaff
18 Dec 2010 - 20:24
Island Life
CIBE Team
Perseverance Harbour
Orientation Walk
Megaherb Communities
Damnamenia Vernicosa
Leptinella Plumosa

The CIBE members live in the MetService Annex building which overlooks Perseverance Harbour. The Annex is quite comfortable, the inside temperature ranges a bit above ambient; chilly when its clagged in and slimy outside, but our main living room is oriented to capture the sun on fine days.

Meals have been feats of culinary masterpiece complimented by a selection of fine wines donated by our sponsor Mountford Estate. One would have thought, fish pie, chicken curry, brownies and...

Alex Fergus
16 Dec 2010 - 19:45
Island Life
CIBE Team
A Hasty Retreat
Our Barricade
Too Terrified To Eat
Assertion Of Dominance
North West Bay Hut

Carla’s human impacts monitoring saw us advancing under glorious sunshine to North West Bay. We clambered up from the Capstan Cove beach, through the goblin forest of Dracophyllum (turpentine scrub), and were met with a bark. As Carla puts it, a young female sea lion took exception to our presence — conceivable, given she did her best to hurry us into the little A-frame hut she was defending. I am more of the view that this young lioness was a lone hut warden, embracing,...

Shelley McMurtrie
10 Dec 2010 - 20:50
Island Life
CIBE Team
HMNZS Otago in Perseverance
Offloading from the Wellington
Clearing the lower winch track
Clearing the upper winch track
The locals looking on
The trolley winch
Quarantine time

I am sitting here in relative luxury in the MetService Hostel on Campbell Island, with a light on, the computer going, and the dulcet tones of Fat Freddys Drop playing – all thanks to the wiring genius of Steve Croasdale and Wayne (MetService chaps) plus our cute wee generator. The base is cold though with no heating - not too much difference between inside and outside temps (burr).

We arrived at Campbell Island two days ago with snow on the hills and it continued to snow off...

Alex Fergus
10 Dec 2010 - 19:45
Island Life
CIBE Team

3 days of unpacking and prepping has been followed by 32 hours on a rolling ocean (up to sea-state 5 in navy speak). The seventy five percent of the team that remained bedridden at sea have risen, and spirits are high. Sleet has given way to snow to sun to wind to rain and now it’s calm on our 3rd evening. Until now our exploration of the island's biotic bustle has been limited, but come nightfall each evening a few of us have had the chance to start exploring the boardwalk...

Shelley McMurtrie
9 Dec 2010 - 10:25
CIBE Team
Checking the manifest
HMNZS Wellington in Bluff
Bridge of the Wellington
Home on the Wellington
Stern of the Wellington
Departing the Wellington
A calm southern ocean

It is a funny thing but the one topic of conversation on a ship heading to the Subantarctics isn’t about the splendor of your destination but about whether or not you will be bringing up your lunch on the way down. Thanks to a work Christmas function on my last night in Christchurch I had plenty of gory seasick disaster stories (thanks Dave!) vying for attention in my mind to keep my immediate future ripe with technicolour possibilities…

Of course in usual style we...

Shelley McMurtrie
6 Dec 2010 - 20:30
CIBE Team
See video

On the day of their departure, Sarah Bedford (Cue TV) interviewed Shelley McMurtrie (Expedition Coordinator) about the upcoming expedition to Campbell Island. Sarah wanted to know about the research, but more importantly, what the team was going to crave while on this remote island for 9 weeks.

[Shelley McMurtrie]

Shelley McMurtrie
6 Dec 2010 - 14:30
CIBE Team
CIBE Quarantine
CIBE Quarantine
CIBE Quarantine
CIBE Quarantine
CIBE Quarantine
CIBE Quarantine
CIBE Quarantine
CIBE Quarantine

It's 3pm on Monday (6th Dec) and in around five hours we will be on the HMNZS Wellington making our way to Campbell Island. Just enough time then to get some photos loaded and write a quick blog! Sorry but I didn't manage to get a video clip together (gave up editing around 11pm last night).

So lets backtrack to last Friday...

Alex James, Mark Crompton, and I flew down to Invercargill on Friday (3rd Dec) while Colin and co. had driven down the previous day....

Shelley McMurtrie
5 Dec 2010 - 16:30
CIBE Team
See video

Alex J, Mark C, and I arrived early Friday arvo and there was no time to waste; we were thrown right into the thick of the quarantine process. I must say, there's nothing like spending time in a warehouse with the bright sun overhead to help acclimatise for Campbell Island - was more suited to preparing for humid tropical rainforests! Can you believe it, Invercargill was in the mid-to-high twenties.

By the time Sunday arvo rolled around we were all done, and only a couple of...

Shelley McMurtrie
3 Dec 2010 - 14:35
CIBE Team
BGAN satellite phone
Packing the van
Loading the generator
Shelley's modelling career
Another load for the trailer
More stuff for the trailer
Waving goodbye

Wednesday dawned and the calmness of the day was broken by the sound of packing tape and the click of the camera shutter. The big packup day had arrived and we looked at the van and small trailer and wished we had ordered up the Tardis instead. But the 'Tetris' packing skills of team EOS were impressive as boxes were crammed into the smallest spaces. It should be said that Colin and I managed to get out of some of the packing when we were interviewed by The Press' environmental...

Shelley McMurtrie
13 Nov 2010 - 12:15
CIBE Team
See video

9 weeks on a remote island with no power or supermarket means it's a good idea to trial the food first. Having worked through our nutritional requirements, Suzanne Henderson (SJ Consulting) developed our menu and shopping list. She also thought it a good idea to come over and demonstrate how to cook a couple of the evening meals. This time it was the fish pie - you might be able to tell we quite liked it.

[Shelley McMurtrie]

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