Friday, June 26, 2009

South Pacific Survey, 14 June 1951, Apia

The long lengths of pipe were lengthened today, and after an early lunch the "Kon Tiki Mk1" was pushed into the sea and a start was made sweeping the area. This was fraught with many interesting possibilities as the old raft bumped from one coral head to another and gathered up large carpets of weed.

Using underwater goggles or visor and flippers, the scene was indescribable, the fish coloured blue and red and white, some appeared in football jerseys and looking into the placidly clear water kept us occupied during the sweep.

Unfortunately, the coral patches increased and, experiencing difficulty in sweeping and lifting the sweep, we had to improve the operation of the sweep. The 25 miles to town by car to get things done just eats time, so it was considered best to finish the day and start tomorrow.

After a conference with Brodie Pritchard on operations, we finished for the day

Saturday, June 13, 2009

South Pacific Survey, 13 June 1951

Another nice sunny day and Pawpaw for breakfast together with the atrocious coffee. Once again out to Satapuala through the delightful groves of coconut palms and villages. Many people on the road and the driver sounds the horn continuously though if he were not going so fast he would not need to. Hens are cheap to run over, but a pig is a different matter, and he may go as high as 50 pounds if he is a good one. Had the boys shinny up the coconut tree and much mopping up of the clear cool liquid.

Laid the remaining buoys and got ready for sweeping operations to commence on the morrow.

After lunch, the poles to sweep were considered to be not long enough and I suggested they be lengthened by 4 ft. This entailed work by the PWD so we boarded the Apia pilot boat and went coastwise to look at an alternative area, unfortunately they had no map, so the trip was more or less a dead loss, except to see some really vicious coral, and the delightful way the Fijian skipper quietly manouevered his boat out of trouble. Had a swim, went home and after a yarn to the NAC crew just in, went to bed sunburned and weary.

South Pacific Survey, 12 June 1951

Finished marking out the main runway today and disagreed about the position of the mooring buoys so they have decided to lift them and replace them elsewhere. The big sweeping floats are being got ready by M Bignall on the slipway and look as if they will take some towing too.

Not much of interest, except the run in and out of Apia, which is always interesting with the Samoan drivers.

Went out to dinner with the Whitlocks and it was a spread, and after an interesting evening's chat home to bed.