Storm on Antipodes

Update from Stephen Horn – Project Manager

17 July 2016

The northerly hit us with some force, on the 14th July, seriously testing the security of the tents. I got up in the night to check mine and got saturated as water from the waves crashing against the nearby cliffs was thrown in the air and hurled across camp. The severe weather continued all day. I have to admit that my tent needed some stabilising. Fin was going to film it been blown around but then thought it would be a poor reflection on the DOC team’s ability to pitch a tent! I took that to heart so with some help from the doctor, and in the driving salt water it was secured with a veritable spider web of guy ropes reaching out for the earth in every direction. Keith Springer had already experienced his tent being blown away in a gust a couple of weeks before. He went to bed one night and was mystified to find an empty campsite. In the darkness there was no sign of his shelter so he bunked down beside a couple of scrub bars in Keith Hawkin’s palace and managed to locate the tent along with his sleeping bag and gear bags in the morning across the creek. The guy ropes had ripped at the fly. 

Back to the present the angry seas were frothing out to 100 m offshore. Once again we had disconnected the roof water feeding into the tanks to avoid the salt contaminating our supplies. The rain gauge near the hut quickly filled with salt water. It’s the sort of day you can imagine that birds are blown away to populate new islands. It was an impressive display and many took the opportunity to survey the sight from the hillside. A check was made of the load site and items re-secured. Back at camp water was mopped out of some of the tents near the frontier of the campsite. The elements has shaken the satellite dish knocking our connection out of alignment, taking our communications capabilities back to the basic level of the first couple of weeks. Oh well. The savings in data usage have allowed us some wriggle room to watch the rugby this weekend. Every cloud has a silver lining.