Well, of course we are still steaming back across the SouthFijiBasin with still no land in site for at least another day or two. We’ve run out of fruit, white bread, beer and are on our last bottle of milk (which by the way gives you a window of about 2.7 minutes to drink a coffee before it curdles). The outside temperature is dropping fast which is good and making things a bit more bearable.
So we are getting to the end of this rather unexpected South Pacific epic.
As fans of the hadal zone know, the trenches are an evocative quagmire of inglorious majesty, and for me, none have been more inglorious than the New Hebrides Trench. At some point towards the start of this complex shenanigan I was asked what I was most looking forward to finding in the trench. I think I said something arrogant and simple like ‘personal justification for doing this at all’. So the question is, did I find personal justification for having done this? And the answer I have to say is no. I feel this trench has taken more than it gave. Whilst the results are sound, my personal bar is raised rather high, as most trench campaigns have heralded something that makes your eyebrows rise involuntarily, but not this time round.
This trip will be remembered for the epic that it has been and not for what we found. I am sure the others might think differently. Despite me ungratefully moaning and complaining about missed glory, we have had a bit of a laugh, but I won’t be taking wee trawlers on voyages like this again.
As much as I adore the RV Kaharoa and it all her quirky little ways I long to sleep in an actual bed and sit on a chair rather than an aluminium box. I long to sleep where the pounding of her engines are not rattling my spine and a time when I no longer have to inhale her diesel.
Day after tomorrow though, the day after tomorrow will bring the silence. Oh but wait, we don’t have a hotel in Auckland, so we’ll be staying on here for another night, albeit with the engines off, but will bring our total nights on board to 30, yikes.
In the meantime, the pointy end is still pointing south and we still have ramming speed engaged.
Alan – 1st December