Friday, May 8, 2009

OK we’re there now….

The Navy at Devonport: Which one do you think was ours?
Grey Hamilton corner on the Resolution

The ground is constantly moving under my feet but it’s not because of earthquakes. Our voyage with the Resolution was excellent – the Navy were extremely hospitable and pretty much gave us the run of the ship. They did conduct a fairly impressive stream of exercises en route, some of which left the ship wallowing without power while they carried out “a continuous aggressive attack” against whatever the particular problem was. One result of the wallowing is that my body is still in ‘brace against the movement mode’ even though we’re ashore now. Fellow volunteer Gina in command of the ship: "Make it so, Number One"

We had our first glimpse of Raoul Island yesterday afternoon and the welcoming committee was a pod of Bottlenose dolphins that streaked in to surf the ship’s bow wave while, in the distance, a Humpback whale broached spectacularly in the bay.

Ever efficient, the Navy got us onto an inflatable boat without even slowing down; we were ashore before anyone - including the crew on the island - knew what was happening.

The island is certainly a paradise but chaotic at the moment. The ten residents have seen no-one for six months and suddenly there are 28 people using the hostel and other buildings in this vicinity. Last week a GNS group arrived to install early warnings for tsunamis and four yachts were moored here, stopping over on their way to the islands for winter. We also have a helicopter that’s flown here from Taupo – they are helping with the installation of equipment around the volcano.

At the moment we are still trying to keep out of everyone’s way, while finding our way around. Lots of fun!

1 comment:

Tony Br said...

Hi Neil and Gaye .. wow it just seems like yesterday that you were leaving town and we were drinking your health .. now you are camped beneath a bloody volanco ... how stupid is that???? You left at the right time .. f'n freezing here now .. southerly blowing ....brrrrrrr. Dave and I are collecting the deserted sea kayaks tomorrow .. we don't want them seizing up now do we..... have fun .. Tony