February 28, 2018

DTA staff head for the Southern Ocean

Sally Garrett and Will Coldicutt are on board HMNZS Wellington heading for the Southern Ocean, part of a group of 54 government staff and five tonnes of equipment accompanying NZDF on a resupply mission to the Sub-Antarctic Islands.

Pre-departure check for seeds and other biohazards

Pre-departure check for seeds and other biohazards

The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is assisting with the maintenance and repair of key buildings in a three-phase operation in the sub-Antarctic islands.

During the 2017 resupply mission DTA and MetOcean deployed a moored wave buoy, about 10 kilometres south of Campbell Island, to study the Southern Ocean waves. This was the furthest south such a device has ever been launched.

The buoy measured waves as big as 19.4 m., before breaking free and heading for Chile. The buoy is still reporting back and providing good data but it has drifted north. The plan for this trip is for MetOcean Solutions and DTA to launch a replacement wave buoy at the original location.

HMNZ Wellington off Stewart Island

HMNZ Wellington off Stewart Island

The launch requires low sea states, which happens about once in 15 days in the sub-Antarctic region. However, with HMNZ Wellington at Auckland and Campbell Island for about 12 days and detailed marine weather forecasting support from MetOcean, they have the best chance possible.

Commodore Jim Gilmour, said the wave data gathered by the buoy would be transmitted back to New Zealand and studied, and would be used to help design the Navy’s third offshore patrol vessel.