Published: November 15th 2010November 15th 2010
Once again, it has been too long since I have updated my blog, but honestly I collapse into bed most nights around 9 and drag myself out of bed around 6:30. I wish there were more hours in a day!
Since my last update so much has happened. Halloween came and went with Leonie and I down in Auckland staying at Ingrid’s researcher friend Sarah’s place while Ingrid was in Australia. The weekend was pretty uneventful, with Leonie and I wandering Auckland city for a few days. One of the days we went on a dolphin cruise boat and even though there were Orca in the area we didn’t find them unfortunately. On the first of November we picked Ingrid up from the airport and headed home. The sunset was gorgeous that night and I was able to get some really great pictures of they sky and the typical New Zealand landscape.
Here is where the good stuff comes in! On the third we got a call for Orca at 6:54 in the morning! I was woken up by Ingrid running through the house screaming ORCAAAA at the top of her lungs. We rushed around like chickens with our
heads cut off, getting things ready, throwing things in the car and making sure we had everything. After a bit of scrambling to get the trailer onto the truck we were out the doors! Heading down the driveway is always a bit stressful because you have to sit and think and try and pray that you got everything. On the way, Ingrid told us that we were heading to Opononi, a small town in the Far North on the shore of the Hokianga harbour. Ingrid explained that the highest percentage of Maori in the country live up here in the Far North. We apparently would be something to gawk at as very few ‘whiteys’ ever go there. She told us the Maori word for white people, Pakeha, which means long pig. Apparetly Maori being the warring culture that they were, they were also canabalistic, and white settlers looked like white pigs when strung up on the Barbie. She also told us that most Maori in the area are on welfare, and very few every leave. We compared it to the welfare system in America, and too much is similar.
As always we had some realy good discussions and laughs
on the way up, and soon we were pulling into town. The town was really small, with the boat ramp being even smaller, just enough room for the truck and trailer with maybe a foot or two of spare room on either side. We launched the boat, parked the truck and were soon zipping Northeast into the harbor in search of the animals. The tide was really strong, so a fair ways into the harbor we stopped because Ingrid guessed the animals wouldn’t want to swim against the tide. She was right, and the people that had originally sighted the animals called to say that we zipped passed them at breakneck speed while they were on the beach waving and pointing. We cut south west to the north side of the harbor and soon found then. The time was 9:20, and a very long day was only starting.
Instantly we all relaxed as we started to count. At least 15 or so animals of all varying ages and sexes, adults and juveniles, male and female. WE started taking photos, with Ingrid recording data in her voice recorder. We followed for a while, with the three of us taking pictures
before Ingrid handed the boat to me as she broke out her video camera. I was really nervous at first but with some guidance and reassurance by Ingrid I took the wheel. At first I wasn’t doing too well, driving like I was with dolphins. Ingrid kept repeating steady speed, steady course. If I change my course or speed too much, the animals don’t trust me. If I stay nice and steady, they will come close to the boat and will tolerate me a lot more. I started to realize this was true as I got closer they didn’t mind. At one point I found myself diagonal behind a very large male as he was hunting. As long as I stayed steady and straight he would duck and dive around the boat like it was another orca.
The scenery was gorgeous at this point, most of the harbor up until I took over was gorgeous forest and farmland down to the water. Now, it was huge sand dunes almost as large as these mountains. One even looked like a snowcapped mountain as it was crusted over with salt or some other white looking substance. We were lucky because even
thought they sky wasn’t sunny, it was just cloudy enough to allow us to see well. The water was clearn and shallow, allowing us to see almost everything underwater, especially when we got closer to the harbours entrance. At this point we were following a male, female and juvenile. The three of them were hunting and food sharing together around the boat in extremely shallow water. All the while Leonie was snapping away with my camera and Ingrid was shooting video. Then, we followed them until we came to some people sand surfing. They took boogie boards and would walk up the huge dunes and slide down right into the water. You should have seen their eyes when they saw the Orca for the first time. Literally they went running for their camers and ran along side the Orca and the boat, it was great. We even stopped to give them a sticker. We followed this group for a while, around the corner, then went back for another group of 5 that was doing the same thing. We go some hopefully good footage of them travelling in the shallows, skimming across the surface. You could see the huge wake they
would make with their bodies, most of the time they couldn’t even keep their dorsal fins underwater, even the females. One particular juvenile kept skimming the shallows so close that at one point he even had to turn around. We followed this group out to the mouth of the harbor then waited for more to come out, went in with them and then filmed them coming out.
Next we followed along side a mother with three juveniles. They stopped to catch a ray for a while and leonie and I stuck our hands in the water and clapped, snapped, waved and made a ruckus as the youngsters jumped and dove in the water right in front of the boat. The water was so clear that we could see them way down below the boat and often they would shoot right for our hands, surface a few feet a way then rocket down again for more.
We ended up staying with them a bit longer, but soon enough the weather was turning against us and we said our goodbyes before heading back to the boat ramp.
The town we were in is called Opononi, and right next to
the fish and chips places is a statue of a dolphin and child. The dolphin’s name was Opo and he was the go to guy for swimming and people playing before Moko. Opo was tragically killed only a year after he arrived, but his short stay was full of people playing with him and many cases of him letting children climb on him while he swam in circles in the shallows. Moko, a dolphin of similar human interest was a New Zealand celebrity for a while as well before he too was killed a few years ago.
At Opo Fish and Chips, I got a burger which was delicious and we sat at a lookout above the harbor, took in the view and then headed back. Ingrid said we were going another way and within a half hour we were in the Waipu forest. Ingrid stopped, pointed Leonie down a path and told us to take our cameras and go. Well, we found this tree named Tane Mahuta which is the oldest Kouri left standing in NZ. Tane Mahuta is older than Jesus, and was thought to be a seed over 2,000 years ago. Tane Mahuta is not the
oldest though. There is another one, not far from there that is much older and larger, however the park authorities are keeping it hidden from people for obvious reasons. Hopefully it is buried deep into the forest to prevent stupid people from getting too close and damaging it. As the feeding roots are shallow and delicate even walking near the tree can do enough damage to eventually cause it’s death. Kouri trees are much, much older than redwood, but smaller. They are however just as finicky and due to lack of space and the presence of pests, the Kouri in the Waipu forst are near enough the last on the earth. There are a few tall ones (not nearly as wide) near Whangarei and some outside of Auckland, but that is it. They don’t grow anywhere else in the world, not even the South Island.
After our little expedition, we got back to the rig and Ingrid then threw us our jackets, winked at me and told us she was sick of us and we had to ride in the boat. Well this special trip is called the Orca safari and we sat in the boat while Ingrid drove
through the rest of the Waipu forest. We got gorgeous views and saw some more Kouri trees. Before humans arrived, the ENTIRE north island was forest. Old forest though, not a young one and some of the Kouri there were good sized, though none were nearly as large as Tane Mahuta. There were also tree ferns that dwarfed us in the truck and boat, and other trees as well. I remember some of the names from the tree name game we play, but at that point I was content in just sitting back with my head against the boat, watching all of this go by. Just beautiful.
About 50,000 years ago a huge Tsunami hit the north half of the north island and all of the trees were leveled. Most of these trees were immediately covered in thick layers of mud. These trees sat for thousands of years and currently people are working on digging them all up. Why? Well the wood is still preserved thanks to the mud and it is in excellent condition. At one point, after our ‘safari’ we dove past a property with huge trees piled in the back. At first it just looked like
regular trees to me (except for the fact that they were as wide as the doublewide trailers they were sitting next to) but Ingrid said they were the preserved Kouri. Apparently at that one spot there was maybe $500,000 worth of limber, and that was most likely and underestimation. I guess that if you fly high enough you can see the scars from the buried wood from up in the air. Often, loggers will do just that, searching out the scars then digging in order to retrieve what has been buried for thousands of years. Holy shit. Now however, years of logging and farming has all but decimated the forest and they have replaced it all with California Pine, trimmed and perfect for the logging industry. Then the trees are cut, harvested, the area burnt and it is all repeated. That would be like chopping down the redwoods and doing the same thing. Decimating an ancient forest and all for a few dollars :/
So Ingrid is one of those people that is full of information. A very small amount is useless, seeing that most of it is biological and I find it very interesting. Well, after explaining about
the tsunami and the preserved Kouri Ingrid explained the difference between lakes and lagoons to Leonie. She then went on to talk about a certain lage in Guam that has Jellfish. Aptly called Jellyfish lake, this lake used to be a lagoon, and when the volcano pushed the island chain up into the air, a lake was born. The jellyfish in the lagoon have evolved to live in freshwater, lose their stingers and use photosynthetic algae in order to survive. You make not think that is cool, but for a jellyfish, that is pretty neat. Also, I bet they are the only jellyfish like that in the world.
On the ride back we talked about other various things, including a captive orca in the Netherlands named Morgan. If push comes to shove Ingrid has told the proper authorities that she will donate as much time as it takes in the Netherlands until Morgan is freed back into the wild. We also talked about past volunteers, activities and other things that Ingrid and the Orca Resarch Trust have had. The ride back was over three times as long as the ride there due to our short cut through the forest.
However, Ingrid said that most likely we would have skimmed right by it if we ever had the chance again, so it was nice to take the detour.
Around 6 Ingrid quickly cut off the road and pulled into a parking lot. Once again she winked and told me to grab my camera. Walking up, I saw signs that said Bird Sanctuary and Leonie next to me squeeled KIWIIII. Then light dawned and I got a bit excited. Kiwi are nocturnal and for that reason you rarely ever see them, except dead on the side of the road. So getting the opportunity to see one was amazing! The people that ran the sanctuary, Robin and Robert had been working it for almost 20 years. We were quickly introduced to a baby Kiwi found and turned in by someone. After staring in awe and then patting it a bit we moved on to other birds, including some native and non-native species. Outside we got to see a talking Tui. The Tui is a honey eater, endemic to New Zealand. To mee I would compare them to crows, but prettier. They have this huge white tuft of feathers under their neck
and other distinctive feathering around the body. They can also learn to talk, and we met 2 birds, one male and one female that have perfected Robin and Robert’s voice. The male is named Woof-Woof and apparently people come from all over the world to see him! He can say tons and imitate even more. At one point the female got jealous of us paying attention to the male and I heard her say ‘Are you serious’. Pretty great ☺ We then met a few more birds in their cages which will most likely all be released within a few weeks. We also met another Kiwi, a big adult male with only one leg. He lives at the center as he only has one leg and was really pissed at us waking him up. He grudgingly let us pet him though before going back to sleep.
Robert then showed us the teacher building, full of pictures, stuffed birds and other memorabilia. After that we talked a bit before saying our goodbyes. Morris the Mynah bird came to saw hellow as well, and he hopped all over us, investigating and checking for food. His full name is Morris Minor, something
I got a crack out of ☺
Finally we were homeward bound and after getting gas and some groceries we were pulling into the driveway. A quick clean up, moving the cows and some snacking we were off to bed at 10:20 after an AMAZING day ☺
Here are some links to check out the hokianga if you are so inclined:
It’s a really cool place, and I hope to get some time later in my travels to go back up and investigate some more or even go sand surfing!!
For the next few days Leonie and I did the typical clean, chores, outside work and more. Another friend of Ingrid came down from the Bay of islands. John, originally from Germany, is researching false killer whales and their interaction with pelagic bottlenose and pilot whales in New Zealand waters. He has tons of pictures that need to be sorted into a catalogue of some sorts, so I began a project (that is still continuing, with more pictures coming in from all over the country every day!) to organize all of that.
On the 6th I woke up and
headed straight outside to get some work done while Leonie did a bit of computer stuff. Around lunch time I decided to get some house work done and we cleaned the boat and truck gear, and after suggesting we go snorkeling Ingrid heard the phone ring and what do you know, but more orca!! I overheard the woman saw Omapere (which is right next to Opononi in the Hokianga) so Leonie and I jumped up and ran to get things all set. We were in the car pretty quickly and the phone kept ringing on our ride down.
Once there, we got in the water real quick and headed way into the harbor. We found them halfway to Rawene. At first we found the tail end of the group and it was hard to get close to them, but the farther in we went, the more animals we found. At one point, they were fish chasing, something Ingrid said she has never seen. After about an hour and a half we realized they were the same animals as the other day. We saw Flean, Diane, Digit, Magic, Merlin, three adult males and many others. We stayed until sundown when
they all started to rest and socialize. The big adult male would push himself up into the air then slap his dorsal fin sideways against the surface of the water. He did it for about 45 minutes, and we got to watch and got some cool pictures of it. A juvenile was doing the same, so that was fun to watch. The sunset was real nice and we all got some nice pictures of the animals in the dim light. Around 8/8:30 we left the animals, loaded the truck up and headed home. It was an extremely long drive home, or so it seemed, and I slept without moving an inch in bed that night.
On the 7th we did inside work all day and I worked real hard on the photo ID catalogue of pilot whales. Ingrid, Leonie and I went through al of Ingrid’s hard copy slides and photo albums digging out anything relating to pilot whales and strandings. I spent the day scanning the slides into the computer and collating them while Leonie spent the day making a digital record off all pilot whale strandings that Ingrid has been to and that have happened in New
Zealand. The most exciting part about today is that Ingrid informed us that John would be happy to take us out on his Ecocruz sailing trip in the upcoming week, so on Monday the 8th I spent quite a bit of time working on the catalogue and sorting pictures. Ingrid got a call in the afternoon about a whale found dead and floating up in the Bay of Islands, so after alerting John we started gathering some supplies for our adventure. We left around 5 and after a nice road trip up the coast in Leonie’s little Nissan van Gramps we got there around 7:30ish. We parked the van at John’s house and then after helping him load groceries we headed down the street to the Opua sailing club where we met up with John’s crew. Tom and Marta are a young couple that met at the University of Otago down in Dunedin. Tom is a Kiwi, born and raised in the Bay of Islands. His family just stopped their Ecocruz company last year so now he’s working for John. Marta is the first Spaniard I have met on my travels and she couldn’t be any nicer. When she was
younger she and her family travelled extensively through the states for her father’s work. She speaks excellent English and like me has a fierce love of Orca!
We all loaded into a small dingy and headed over to John’s boat moared just a short ride away. The boat, called the Manawanui (Maori for big Heart) is a gorgeous 72 foot cutter-rigged ketch. The boat is nice and spacious with a huge dining area and bathroom, something really strange for boats. Leonie and I got our first taste of John’s amazing cooking as he apologized for whipping up a ‘pathetic’ meal of a salad heaped with different veggies. Yeah, pathetic was exactly what I was thinking, and after chatting for a few hours we headed to bed.
The next morning we were up early and had a delicious breakfast. John put us to work preparing the boat for passengers and we headed out towards Paihia. Tom, Marta, Leonie and John’s dog Moby waited paitiently (at least the humans did) for John to get his passengers return before we headed out to sea. John alerted the passengers to the whereabouts and presence of the dead whale and they all agreed
that it would be an interesting first day. Onboard with us was a young English couple, Kirsty and Ben, both doctors. Kirsty is living and working in New Zealand while Ben is visiting her for a few weeks. Unfortunately Kirsty broke her jaw just a few weeks prior to the trip and has her mouth wired shut. Shes a real great sport though and laughes and jokes about it and tries to lighten the situation. The other passenger is a man named Thomas. Although really nice, Thomas was a bit strange and spoke with an extremely thick Danish accent. The entire trip though he had a great time and you could tell he was loving the experience.
So soon after setting sail we headed out of the Bay of Islands and out towards the Hole in the Rock at Cape Brett. We stopped to try and do a bit of fishing and after having no luck we continued south in search of the whale. We found it and per instructions from Ingrid proceeded to take bone, tissue and blubber samples. Lucky for us the whale was extremely decomposed and the entire area STANK horribly of whale and nastiness. After
a few hours of struggling we left with our spoils and headed towards a small bay just south for the night. The bay was already packed, with one or two boats and a huge group of dolphins!! They were really social and we did a small hike up the hillside and were able to see over the local bays and out towards the poor knights. After the walk we headed back towards the boat where a group of us went kayaking. We stayed a bit aways from the dolphins after soon realizing they would rather socialize within their groups.
After the long day we had dinner and John cooked some utterly amazing steaks with mushroom sauce, potatoes, asparagus, salad and so much more. I couldn’t get enough, it was great! After dinner we had a desert called Pavlova which is something of a giant meringue cake topped with fresh whipped cream frosting and kiwi. Although it was crazy sweet it was still great and I got to hear the back story. I guess Pavlova is a very typical New Zealander desert and Kiwi’s and Aussie’s often fight over who the desert belongs to. As we were in New Zealand
it was obviously born in NZ that night and we all soon slipped into food coma’s and went to bed ☺
The next morning we woke up and a almost everyone except for John, Leonie and I went swimming. It’s still colddd here, so I wasn’t ready to jump in at 6. We headed north and after sailing just north of Cape Brett we pulled into another small bay where John loaded us all into the dingy and dropped us off at the tip of the Cape. We hiked a near vertical trail up to the Cape Brett Lighthouse where we all sat and talked and rested for about an hour. I was totally blown away by the sight. Unlike the trip I took in Airlie Beach, this trip has been blessed with amazing weather. The seas are almost glass calm and there was barely a cloud in the sky. After coming back down, Leonie and I jumped in for a quick swim and John surprised us with a very large, very tasty quiche. As the rest of us cleaned up, john and the crew prepared for us to head north. While we were hiking John got a call
from Ingrid saying that Orca were spotted at the north most tip of the Bay of Islands.
The trip would be a few hours for us, but the view was gorgeous and the weather couldn’t be better so we headed north. Marta was already going out of her skin and Kirsty confessed that she (like so many others) wanted to be a marine biologist when she was a kid due to Orca. Just before dark we spotted them, and Tom and the others jumped into the dingy for a better look while John, Leonie and I stayed behind. We wanted to give the others a look as most of them had never seen Orca before, but we were really jealous and couldn’t wait for our turn. After about a half hour we switched and Thomas came out with us for a second go. We found two females and a juvenile surfing and hunting on a beach and the juvenile made a beeline for us and spent at least 5 minutes surfing in our wake under the boat. It was so great to see the orca enjoying itself as much as we were enjoying it, and it was so sad
to finally have to pry ourselves away. Moby, the boat dog however was not so understanding and he was extremely upset to be leaving the orca. Once he gets in the dingy any and all sea creatures are instantly his best friends and he barks and wimpers and shakes like a mad fool, its hilarious! Well we stopped at a beach so Moby could do his business and he literally lept from the boat, ran to a tree and was back in the boat within a minute, staring at us asking to head back out. You could see his dismay when we drove past the Orca back to the boat.
Back on board the weather soon got really rough, and john made a delicious stir fry dinner, but I soon was feeling sea sick so I ate on the back deck and watched the stars. I may have mentioned this before, but the stars here in NZ are unlike any I have seen. There is barely any light here and you almost feel as if the sky is glowing because of the stars. I sat and watched the sky until I could barely keep my eyes open and then
went to bed. The next morning I was sad to hear that soon after I went to bed dolphins started bow riding and they were lit up bright green by the phosphorescence. John said that the ocean lights up like crazy at night, and light can been seen ricocheting off of animals swimming through. I was very sad to have missed it, but hopefully I’ll be able to see it another night. While I was asleep we had headed back towards the center of the bay of islands and were moored in another quite bay. No dolphins this morning, but soon after breakfast I spotted orca! I really wasn’t expecting it as we had planned a day of hiking and snorkeling. Everyone was happy to give that up though for a chance to spend more time with the orca. We all hopped in the dingy and were soon with a group of females and juveniles who were more than happy to put on a great show of hunting for us. We saw huge rays leaping out of the water, side swimming and as the water was crystal clear we could easily follow the animals around.
John had called and
alerted Ingrid and she was set to arrive within a few hours, so we stayed put with the animals while finishing breakfast and cleaning up. By noon Ingrid had arrived and collected Leonie and I. She was amazed at the great hunting display that was happening, and at one point what was thought to be a seal was soon found to be a ray so desperate to escape the orca it had almost climbed completely up a rock face and out of the water. Ingrid quickly geared up, throwing on a dive suit and grabbing her underwater video and stills camera. I dropped her in the water and drove for the next hour or so as we tried to get some underwater footage of exactly what was happening below the boat. The orca didn’t mind her at all and she told me later of stories of her poking and prodding orca aside so she can get a better look at what they are doing. We followed these orca for the next few hours, south past Cape Brett and down towards the dead whale. After retrieving some more samples we got a call from John about MORE orca back in the
bay and we raced back. By this time another filmer, Steve, had arrived to take more and better footage of the hunting, so with him in tow Ingrid proceeded to jump massive waves on our way back north. The wind had picked up considerably and the waves we were jumping launched Leonie and I out of our seats multiple times. It was great though and you can see that Ingrid drives her boat like her car.
Back in the harbour we found the orca again and realized that these animals were the same we had in the Hokianga only days previous. Basically that means that we had the, 3rd and they left us and went north. Then they turned up in the hokianga again on the 6th and then made a U turn again and headed up north and around the tip of the island. The main group had split into two, and the first group was mostly females and some juveniles while the second was females and older juveniles and then the males. These guys had been in the bay for a while and around 6 we got a call about a dead marine mammal on a local
beach. After going over to investigate (turned out to be a shark…) we found sting ray bodies everywhere! The orca went through and had a field day, leaving bits and pieces all over the place. We collected as many as we could find and then headed back to Opua to grab Leonie and my gear from John before heading home.
The ride back was extremely long and after a quick shower I collapsed into bed.
The next morning was Friday the 12th and we had decided that we would get up REALLY early to clean up the boat and get everything ready just in case we got a call for Orca. We had to pull the rugs out of the boat and disenfect everything because of the whale and stingray stench. We were in the middle of sting ray discection when we got a call for Orca. It was a hard call, but we decided not to go after realizing that we had a lot left to do. That didn’t last too long though and about 20 minutes later after getting a call that orca were surfing with surfers at the local beach we bolted for the door
and we down the driveway within 15 minutes. We launched from Tutukaka, but unfortunately we couldn’t find them as we weren’t quick enough but we found one shaken group of dolphins. Those poor creatures were visibly upset and one can only assume they were tormented by the orca just a few hours before. After staying with them for a bit we tried to look for the orca once again but soon gave up and headed home. We were utterly drained soon after getting home and after dinner went to bed real early.
The link to the orca surfing!
Saturday we woke up and started in on the seemingly never ending boat work. After finishing we sat down to talk about the day’s work when the phone rang with news of Orca in Ngungaru, the town just south of Tutukaka. We set out almost immediately and were with the animals within a half hour. This day was one of my favorites with the animals just because they were SO interactive with us. They loved the boat and kept coming over to say hi, blow bubbles at the boat, roll over and look at us and more! Once again we
The beach down the street :)
(where the orca were surfing)
realized it was the same animals, and they seemed to enjoy our company just as much as we were enjoying theirs. Leonie and I realized that if we took Ingrid’s diving fins and slapped them and our hands against the surface the calfs would respond in like with slapping of their flukes in time to us. It was so great and has us entertained for a while! Soon after this bit of fun the entire group headed into a very shallow very narrow very dangerous area. They almost all beached themselves trying to get into the channel and at one point one of the males was seen wriggling and thrashing in the water as he got his belly stuck on a sand bar. Ingrid suited up real quick and on the way out I dropped her in the water so that she could get some great pictures of them coming out of the water. They once again didn’t care about her being there at all and just went on their merry way! Coming out of that area the surf was HUGE and we got to watch the animals surf for a bit. They navigated the waves like pros and you
could see they were loving it!!
At this point they headed out to sea a bit and went to sleep. We followed them loosely for a few hours until they got to some islands and quickly woke up. One animal, a huge interactive male even breached right in front of the boat for us! Soon enough they were all hunting and tearing up the rays like the pros we know them to be!!
After 7 hours on the water with them we turned around and headed home where we stopped in the harbor for some pizza and then headed home. Once again it was time to clean the gear and we did so in a hurry before collapsing into bed. Seems like a trend is going on here…
Link to the pilot whales!
So of course Sunday is NOT a day of rest around here, and we woke up with all intentions of getting tons of computer work done. Ingrid has a conference to attend on Monday and we need to get some paperwork done to help her prepare for it. All those plans quickly went out the window (despite us turning down another chance
with orca) when we got a call that a huge pod of pilot whales were out by the poor knights. It is really important for us to get out to these animals for a few reasons. Before I arrived there were two mass strandings of pilot whales in the far north. Today we are trying to see if we can match any of these animals with animals rescued at the stranding. If we find a match it is 100% proof that helping stranded animals is worth it. For that reason we have to get as many pictures as possible and just watch the behavior of the animals. We were out there around 9 and found the around 75-100 animals in a 5km radius. Originally they were making a beeline for shore and we were really worried that they were planning on stranding but after an hour or so they turned and headed out towards the poor knights again. We ended up staying with them till 5, and during that time they milled around, socialized and changed direction about 4 or 5 times. After leaving them we came straight home and worked without a break until 11 or 12, I cant
remember now. We spent the night preparing articles, burning cds, collating data and checking over information. It was a long day, longer than any I have had in a long time and I was way past my bed time by the time I crawled into bed.
This morning (Monday the 15th) I woke up at 3 to the sounds of Ingrid pulling out of the garage for the conference. I slept in until 8 which is a like sleeping in till noon for Kiwi’s and Leonie and I set to work sorting fins. We ended up taking around 3500 pictures yesterday and I have to sort all of those and then compare them to animals from past straindings. I definitely made a good dent in the work, but still have at least a few days to go!
If the rest of the month is like the beginning I have a feeling that I wont be sleeping or breathing much for that matter, but I don’t think I would have it any other way ☺
There are more photos below