by Erik Olsen | March 11, 2018
R/V Thomas G. Thompson reached the port of Auckland yesterday in the late morning to pick up a new generator and to avoid a large, oncoming storm that threatens to blanket our research area over Brothers volcano on Monday. Better safe than sorry.
Although the team will miss several days of diving with Jason (weather days are almost always built into a research plan), the respite offers folks an opportunity to catch up on work they’ve been putting off, like writing scientific papers, crunching data, and writing long-neglected emails. There is also some free time to get off the ship and explore New Zealand’s largest city.
There are ample things to do in town, perhaps chief among them was to watch the arrival in Auckland of boats taking part in Volvo Ocean Race, one of the premier sailboat races in the world.
The city also has some excellent restaurants, as well as a few interesting attractions. Several team members visited the world-famous SkyTower, a 328-meter (1,076-foot) observation and telecommunications tower that is the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Not only does the tower offer incredible views of the city and surrounding waterway, but in true New Zealand fashion (remember, the bungee jump was developed here), there is a jumper’s platform on the top of the SkyTower so that people can pay for the opportunity to hurl themselves off the top while attached to three thin cables and plummet to Earth below. However, no one from the Thompson made the jump.
For all the attractions on shore, people are very eager to get back out to sea and resume work with Jason. That’s why we all came this distance, after all. So, fingers crossed that the storm passes quickly and we can head out again soon.