Tuesday, December 15, 2009

South Pacific Survey 25th June 1951

Once more out to Satapuala to get on with the job, not a pleasant day but makes little difference with the rain, bathing togs being the order of the day. Our problem is to keep our fuses dry for the gelignite. Jacko came with us for a while and when it came to the swimming parts, he folded up badly, not too fit.

It rained most of the morning and we got rid of two cases of explosives in spite of the rain. Got some nice fish also rather pretty ones, magnificent colouring of some of them and the oddest shapes too. The afternoon was reasonably fine and we blasted some more coral.

On returning home tonight Dr Milne rang to invite me to dinner on Thursday and gave me the latest information regarding the New Zealand case. Official advice from Wellington forbidding the use of our Catalina to go down and have a look, but intimating that the Lauthala Bay RNZAF Commanding Officer may use his discretion and do what we proposed to do.

The harbour master has asked for his pilot boat back again so that he can go to New Zealand and take with him a doctor from here. They are now asking a cockle shell of a launch to do 300 miles there and 300 miles back, it is beyond my comprehension.

The case is one for the man on the spot who is capable of doing the job using his brains and facilities to the best advantage. Very poor effort indeed and I'd question the rightness of the decision to send the pilot boat.

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