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A research voyage in Antarctic waters faces the tyranny of distance and ice during every hour of the six-week voyage.
In his last update, NIWA project leader Dr Richard O’Driscoll talks about the challenging search for whales in foggy and icy conditions.
A state-of-the-art underwater research glider has been unveiled by NIWA scientists in Wellington.
NIWA scientists aboard RV Tangaroa have been trawling the central Ross Sea calculating the abundance of the prey species.
It has been another amazing week here on the Tangaroa. On Saturday we saw Antarctica which was an absolutely breath-taking experience that I’ll remember for the rest of my life!
Today marks the halfway point in our journey and we have started the demersal trawling part of the voyage. Each day has been full-on with excitement and new things to learn and see. The highlight of the last few days was holding one of the biggest fish in the Southern Ocean in my arms - an Antarctic toothfish.
Favourable weather has provided excellent photographic conditions for NIWA's photographer Dave Allen, who has accompanied the 6 week voyage.
Through the cloud a large dark shadow appears in the distance. I look at Blake and ask him, “Could that be it?” We both wait with anticipation, fizzing with excitement, and eyes fixed on the horizon.
Scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division explain the blue whale research they are leading onboard the New Zealand-Australia Antarctic Ecosystems Voyage 2015.
It’s now day 18 on board the RV Tangaroa and spirits are as high as ever. After seven days of amazing weather and a lot of successes with the blue whale work in the northern Ross Sea we have decided to put the last three days allocated to this scientific objective on hold for later in the trip, and to head south to start our third scientific objective which is the demersal trawl survey.
NIWA voyage leader Dr Richard O’Driscoll updates the Tangaroa’s encounter with the planet’s largest living beings – the Antarctic blue whales – and discovers what’s on their menu.
NIWA marine geologist Dr Geoffroy Lamarche was made a Knight of the National Order of Merit by French Ambassador H.E. M. Laurent Contini, at a special ceremony at the Embassy of France in Wellington on 13 February.
We have now said goodbye to the towering cliffs and vast glaciers of the Balleny Islands and have been heading southeast tracking blue whales by following their low frequency calls. Yesterday we broke into the polynya that is the Ross Sea. The fantastic weather is following us - making it easy to appreciate this surreal part of the world.
The first objective of the New Zealand- Australia Antarctic Ecosystems Voyage was successfully achieved with the completion of the research at the Balleny Islands.
It’s now day 8 at sea and day 3 at the Balleny Islands. The Balleny Islands are a group of volcanic Antarctic Islands situated at 67 degrees south. They are mostly barren rock, with steep cliff faces and covered by massive glaciers, but they are also home to some incredible marine wildlife!
On day five at 9:07 am we all held our breath as we passed 60 degrees south.
Scientists and crew on board Tangaroa are getting their first taste of the deep South’s breath-taking environment as the vessel crosses the 60th parallel, the northern limit of the Southern Ocean.
Voyage leader Richard O'Driscoll reports on voyage progress so far as RV Tangaroa enters the CCAMLR zone.
It’s day three at sea and things are all humming along nicely. We’ve just passed 50 degrees south and any faint sighting of the mainland is long gone. The next time we will see land will probably be the Balleny Islands in a couple of days.
NIWA photographer, Dave Allen, has captured this time-lapse footage of RV Tangaroa departing Wellington yesterday morning.

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