Tales of the Po' Porbeagle Expedition, Part 2

Clouds were gathering as we headed through the protected fiord towards open water. That's Tim Sippel (University of Aukland), Michael Manning (New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmosphere Research), and Clinton Duffy (New Zealand Dept. of Conservation) in the photo.

A New Zealand National Park since 1952, Fiorldland is a now world heritage site recognized for its cultural heritage, and unique, pristine vegetation. Rugged and remote, it is one of the largest protected areas in the world.

The coast of southwestern New Zealand is stunning. Soon we found birds, schools of ‘bait fish’ and albacore and began fishing for porbeagle sharks. We landed 3 small blue sharks but no porbeagles.

We spent the night in Breaksea Sound. That night we tuned in to Mary’s SSB weather forecast, and learned of a strong cold front approaching New Zealand from the Southern Ocean.

The forecast called for NW winds 25 knots the next day, switching to SW and increasing to 35 knots by night. This was disappointing news and would mean that we would need to head south and around the south end of New Zealand before the Southwest winds hit.