Welcome to the HADEEP blog thingy. This entry marks the start of what is know as ‘HADEEP5’ or ‘HADEEP11’ or ‘KAH 1310’ depending on who you speak to. Let’s call it KAH1310 which is the Total Foundation funded ‘Trench Connection’ project to seek out new life forms and boldly drop cameras and traps where no one has dropped cameras and traps before.
Myself and my merry band of men are currently on the New Zealand RV Kaharoa on a mission to sample the abyssal and hadal waters of the SouthFijiBasin and New Hebrides Trench. We thought given the rather unusual nature of this trip that we would quill a blog or two so that people with absolutely nothing better to do with their time can shamelessly wop out their google machines and see what we are up to. And here we are.
I call this day 1, but for us we actually left home nearly 2 weeks ago. This is because 1) is takes about 2 years to fly from Scotland to New Zealand, 2) we spent 4 days in windy Wellington getting all out super-duper deep diving gear ready, 3) we had logistical issues in how to get the gear from Wellington to Auckland which is where we are now.
It has, to be fair, been an epic already, with one of the ‘highlights’ being hiring a car to drive me and my team to Auckland. My first mistake was not asking what type of car the hire place had available and my 2nd was putting only myself on the insurance. This meant we ended up with 4 of us with 1 months worth of luggage each rammed into every square inch of a wee Toyota Yaris, making a monster 10-hour drive across the NorthIsland. The scenery was pretty but the scene inside the poor Yaris was not.
We did however make it on time for Heather to run the Auckland quarter marathon. I personally have never been to a Marathon before and rather taken aback at the number of people who on ceasing this most ridiculous of activities immediately throw up behind the finish line. It was a strange morning.
Anyway, today was spent getting the vessel in order, tying down all our gear and desperately trying to pretend that next 2 days would be enjoyable. By 4pm, we backed away from Auckland harbour. With sharpened spurs we once again straddled the Kaharoa and set a ‘yee-ha’ course to an abyssal plateau in the SouthFijiBasin. Sounds nice doesn’t it?
Alan – 5th November