Stephen Horn – Project Manager, updates us from the island
We have had a lull in activities over the past few days as preparations for baiting have got to a stage of readiness but the weather has held us back from starting bait application.
The Antipodes are currently squeezed between some high pressure to the north and low pressure to the south giving us some full on westerly flow for the most part with a few intermittent rapid changes to the southwest. After completing site setup and fare-welling the build team we were ready to start baiting last Thursday but the wind was far too strong. The following day we were up again at 6am, this time the wind was low but the mist was down to sea level and visibility was less than 30m horizontal and it stayed that way most of the day. The decision was easily made so we called off potential operations by 11 am with a deteriorating forecast ahead. Into the weekend the weather was a little better than expected but variable, again with mist around Perpendicular Head at times. We made the decision not to push for small gaps at this stage as we were likely to have to repeat much of what we could have baited done due to the poor outlook over the coming week. Seas were running high yesterday – forecast at 8 – 12 m and the high winds caused some disrupted sleep last night.
The lack of rainfall continues. We collected about 400 litres over the weekend, enough for about 2 days so we are being careful with water use. We started with approximately 6000 litres on the island and flew on another 6000 litres when we arrived – to get us through until a decent rain. Pete is doing a great job managing camp and keeps tabs on water and fuel usage.
There was also a sky dish brought down by one of the pilots and a certain desperate motivation to get it functional on Saturday ahead of the Allblack’s test match against Wales. The sky project so far hasn’t succeeded much to the exasperation of pilot Darron McCully but Finlay Cox and Ann (the youngest and most technically proficient members of the team) managed to stream access to one of the team’s sky account through the internet and we saw parts of the test, delivered in 10 minute bursts before we would need to reboot so we saw about 35 minutes in total. The radio, however was generally keeping us up to date simultaneously but the commentary running about 30 seconds ahead of the imagery – it made for interesting viewing but a bit of a highlight to have some access to these events when so far away.