Saturday, June 18, 2011
White Sharks, Part One
Got back from my White Shark cage dive trip to Stewart Island last night. Headline: Photog has sublime couple of days off. I have to prep for a gig tonight, so I can't write up the whole story yet, but here's how it starts...
Wednesday night I fueled the truck and hit the road with my old NHNZ colleague Lemuel Lyes, bound for Bluff. There we met friend and tourism consultant James Hacon over a beer and tried to contact the rest of the crew who were supposed to arrive from Auckland at various times that day. The good news: Two were already there, Craig and Kaiser, hanging out at the fire station with our Skipper Mike Haines. The bad news: the others were delayed by the volcanic ash cloud coming from Chile, and would have to drive down from Christchurch in rentals that night, arriving around 2.00 am. The only thing for it was to head for our vessel, the Candice-Britt, load our gear and help skipper Mike get the dive gear and cages aboard.
No boats had been out all week, but the forecast was for easing seas, so it was with no little sense of excitement that we crawled into our sleeping bags and tried to sleep, disturbed only by the slop of waves against the hull, the hull occasionally crashing into the jetty, and the arrival of a travel-weary Mike Bhana and the rest of the Auckland contingent at around 2.00 in the morning.
Soon all aboard were bunked down and ready for the huge day that would begin at dawn, just a few hours away.
Gotta grab my guitars and harmonicas now and dash, more in the pipeline.