Posts written by antonvanhelden

World’s rarest whale revealed to the world.

M traversii mother

Even in this well-informed age it’s surprising how much we still don’t know about the natural world – especially the oceans!    All whales must come to the surface to breathe, despite this the Spade-tooth whale Mesoplodon traversii (Gray, 1874), an animal over 5m in length, has never been see alive, and until 31 December 2010 no one… Read more »

Our far South – Antipodes and Bounty Islands: dots of importance

  • Salvin's albatross. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Bounty Island shag. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Bounty Island shag. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Furseal. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.

I awoke on the morning of 6 March to discover that we had very rapid progress over night and were approaching the rugged columnular basalt cliffs of the Antipodes Island, crowned with green tussocks. The home to the Antipodean albatross,the Antipodes Island parakeet and the erect-crested penguin (to name just a few of the birds!)…. Read more »

Our Far South: Roaring Forties, furious fifties and Screaming sixties…

  • tabular iceberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • Iceberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa.
  • ICeberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa
  • Iceberg. Photo Anton van Helden, copyright Te Papa

Heading south from Macquarie Island we have had some relatively calm seas, pretty remarkable for this part of the world. Leaving the Roaring Forties which gave us a pretty slow rolling sea the fifties gave us a small taste of what it had to offer with some mild five-metre seas. Passing past 60 degrees south was… Read more »