The Goat Island Trip

I said last week that I don’t have any hands free to take photos when I’m doing my fieldwork, which is largely true. It doesn’t mean that I’m not going to take every possible opportunity to take a few photos though – mainly with my phone!


Especially when the weather is this good…and to get out to one of my field sites we have to kayak in a marine reserve through crystal blue water.


Okay, so this was taken with the Fuji X100, the other non-negotiable part of my field kit. Glorious soft sunset colours, a near-full moon, and Grey-faced petrels beginning to return to the island. It’s not much, but it’s one of my favourite photos even though it’s grainy as hell and a little bit blurry. For photos of the actual fieldwork we did, check out this post!


My project seems to be plagued by vehicle problems – I’ve been locked in the car park out at Bethell’s beach because we forgot that the gates were closed after 7pm (we got back at 9pm), and now we had a broken alarm remote and an immobilised car. Leigh isn’t a bad place to get stuck though, so we decided to stay the night at the Marine Lab. Cheers to Yusuf for a midnight run for dinner in Warkworth, and letting us in to the bunk rooms!


I don’t call it insomnia, I call it an increased proclivity to get up in the small hours to photograph stars and phosphorescence. A solid rock and steady hands stood in for a tripod for this 30sec exposure, which is not bad! The lights from the Marine Lab illuminate the pohutukawa trees, under which the Grey-faced petrels burrow.


And the sunrise wasn’t too bad either.

Is this cup of coffee big enough to keep me going after an hour of sleep? No? Let’s try two.


There’s honestly nothing a swim in the sea can’t fix for me. Okay, maybe not broken bones, but nearly everything. Killing time until we can pick up the car and head back to the lab!


The wonderful Ana saving us with food. Not having planned to stay overnight, we were a little low on supplies and had spent the morning subsisting on warm beverages and a few feijoas. Ana made us a welcome lunch before we headed off to pick up the car, pick up our gear, and then drive back to Auckland. Next up for me was a four-hour stint in the lab processing all my samples – blood doesn’t keep well, so doing red blood cell counts and separating out plasma needs to be done as soon as possible. It was quite late when I finally got home – but I slept really well that night!

Thank you so much to all the team at the Leigh Marine Lab for looking after us while we were stranded! You’re all legends.