Young Blake Expedition: Ranui Island

Luke Parker
Young Blake Expedition: Ranui Island

REDnews has asked Simran Rughani and Oxana Repina to report back with photos, footage, and commentary from their Sir Peter Blake Trust’s Young Blake Expedition to the remote Auckland Islands (465 km’s south of Bluff).

They are a part of a group of 14 students working with scientists on terrestrial and marine ecology and geology projects in the Sub-Antarctic islands.

Keep up to date with Simran and Oxana's adventures here on the REDnews Lifestyle section.

SEE ALSO: Seals, seaweed, and salt water showers

 

The Lookout

“After my brief yoga session I was up and ready for the first set of boats to leave for Ranui Cove.

The trip over was wet and windy as per usual but totally worth it.

We turned in to the bay and you could tell that this part of the island had been inhabited, there were remnants of a wharf and DOC had weather proofed the coastwatcher’s hut that soldiers from World War II were posted in.

We had a walk around the hut and examined the artifacts from old books and kettles to their medical supplies – some books date back to 1938 and further.

A few of us left the base hut to find the lookout. We got up to the lookout hut and I was speechless. The view was absolutely stunning. You could see all around Auckland Island, Enderby Island and the Southern Ocean. It was all just so beautiful - you could see where the sea was rough and where it was calm, where the coastal waters were thick with beds of seaweed and where it was next to steep cliffs.

Lookout

We headed beyond the lookout point and the views got even better – it was hard to imagine that they could but they did.

You could see even further around the Islands and could see the HMNZS Otago clearly. We took many pictures but in places like these, pictures can’t capture the beauty and essence of the place.

It can’t capture the grateful and fortunate feeling we all have while taking in the picturesque views. While we were up above the rata forest exposed in the wind, we collected a soil sample which will be used to understand the soils and microbiology of the Auckland Islands.

Simran-and-Raven

Simran (left) and Raven from the Young Blake Expedition

When we returned to the main station in Ranui Cove, I realised that I had missed out on swimming!

Aidan had gone for a refreshing dip in the water. I came back on the zodiac boat and as we were waiting for the transfer to the rib we saw yellow-eyed penguins dancing in the water around us!

We were supposed to go on a second trip out to the island to Hardwicke where a settlement was established from 1849 to 1851. But due to the weather we were unable to land on the coast. It is really funny how we can experience four seasons in one day in the Auckland Islands.

Instead of going to Hardwicke, we had a presentation on the Southern Right Whales by Rebecca. It was really interesting to hear about how the whale populations migrate but also to hear about the population decline due to major whaling.

This evening we have a Swing dancing lesson from Craig and it was great to be dancing again. I have done a type of swing dancing before – the jitterbug – and so it’s great to be dancing again.”

Words by Simran Rughani

Photos supplied by Oxana Repina

SEE ALSO: Seals, seaweed, and salt water showers

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