DAY 28 – Over and out

Today is not the last day but will be the last blog as we get into Auckland tomorrow first thing and things will become rapidly chaotic and I will get grumpy, paperwork will be abound, things will not go as planned and so on.

 

With any luck this will be the last blog I ever write, so you’ll just have to dry your eyes and deal with that, move on.  I know it’s hard but you’ll just need to find another research cruise to fill that empty void.

 

Keep reading for a few days yet, as once we get onto the internetty we’ll post up some videos, hi-res images and stories from the NorthIsland.

 

After over a month with these fine people (6 crew, 5 scientists and Ryan) I feel I should write something nice about my lander battalion, so here goes:

 

They’ve all been amazing, every one of them. Thom has been as solid, unflappable and entirely inappropriate at all the right times as he is famous for.  Heather, for reasons I will never understand, is still happy and cheerful and appears to be the only one who hasn’t gone feral. Peter Mac has been more than a worthy replacement for Big Malx, although we still do not forgive the big fella for bailing on us over a seamounts trip instead.  Mackenzie has also been on really good but I fear it may take her some time to readjust to the kind of civilisation she is accustomed too (thanks for the knitted Liparid by the way).  And then there’s Ryan, oh Ryan.  Ryan was the wildcard, an undergraduate who was a bit of a gamble with such few berths to spare but has turned out to be truly awesome.  Being the youngest, lowest on the pecking order and newboy to all this, he has been the butt-end of every joke, prank and has been blamed for absolutely everything, and he’s taken it well (he even fell for the ‘hold the rope!, hold the rope!, don’t let it go!’ gag, when it was just tied to side of the boat, ahh, the oldies are the best), boy did good.  What a fine bunch.

 

The crew as per usual have been truly brilliant as well.  Uncle Peter has taken Ryan under his wing and taught him everything he knows about seafaring, women, ice cream and making blue fin tunas.  Steve, as always, is a living legend who since 2009 has worked tirelessly to make sure we do a good job and is very much an honorary member of HADEEP (which now of course means nothing, but the sentiment is there).

 

At this point I would thank everyone involved in HADEEP but the list is too long, so let’s thank everyone involved in the New Zealand/Kaharoa trips (in order of appearance and scroll down as if it were the credits to a bad movie):

 

Toyonobu Fujii

Ashley Rowden

Kota Kitazawa

Andrew Stewart

Mackenzie Gerringer

Niki Lacey

Malcolm ‘Big Malx’ Clark

Holographic Nick

Heterosexual Will

Geordie Emma

Heather Ritchie

Peter Macmillan

James Wilson

Ryan ‘oh Ryan’ Eustace

 

So without further ado, I’m off.  If anyone reading this is in Auckland, we’ll be down ‘Swashbucklers’ on Westhaven Drive tomorrow (Tuesday) night for rose wine tasting and an in-depth discussion about contemporary art and classic Russian literature.

 

Oh, I can see the NorthIsland from here.

 

Alan, over and out – 2nd December

Long time coming: Steve and Al, the evil masterminds of this whole charade finally fly the rampant lion in Noumea.

Long time coming: Steve and Al, the evil masterminds of this whole charade finally fly the rampant lion in Noumea.

Taking New Caledonia by sea.

Taking New Caledonia by sea.

Taking New Caledonia. 2013.  If you flag it, it’s yours….until the harbour authority turns up, then we run like girls.

Taking New Caledonia. 2013. If you flag it, it’s yours….until the harbour authority turns up, then we run like girls.

A sunset and sunbeam over Noumea.  It looks better from out at sea than it does when you’re stood at the side of the road.

A sunset and sunbeam over Noumea. It looks better from out at sea than it does when you’re stood at the side of the road.

Ryan and his new ‘Uncle Pete’ enjoy a hokey-pokey ice cream.

Ryan and his new ‘Uncle Pete’ enjoy a hokey-pokey ice cream.

The original -80 freezer, in bits, still is.

The original -80 freezer, in bits, still is.

A three-man gun show after the last HADEEP deployment.

A three-man gun show after the last HADEEP deployment.

One of the few times that Mackenize wasn’t looking absolutely horrified  about the stuff we discuss and the way we speak to one another.  She’s the USA you know, they have corn beef for Sunday dinner….?!

One of the few times that Mackenize wasn’t looking absolutely horrified about the stuff we discuss and the way we speak to one another. She’s the USA you know, they have corn beef for Sunday dinner….?!

Alan about to thrash Ryan at the 6(9)-item fry-up challenge.

Alan about to thrash Ryan at the 6(9)-item fry-up challenge.

Ryan and Thom sharing a joke, probably about something you really don’t want to know about.

Ryan and Thom sharing a joke, probably about something you really don’t want to know about.

The big Histiobranchus sp. we’ve been after all these years.

The big Histiobranchus sp. we’ve been after all these years.

The weird yellow sulphur plumes drifting past the boat.  Even that was mildly interesting.

The weird yellow sulphur plumes drifting past the boat. Even that was mildly interesting.

The tornado cloud from last week.

The tornado cloud from last week.

Our little lady, the Kaharoa, sittin’ over 7000m of water.  Taken the other day when the boys went razzing around on the inflatable.

Our little lady, the Kaharoa, sittin’ over 7000m of water. Taken the other day when the boys went razzing around on the inflatable.

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