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Offline Tom van Brits

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2600 on: December 03, 2017, 03:01:03 pm »
Science on seabirds is very important, and therefore the RSPB which is the UK's largest nature conservation charity is investing a lot on special projects.
The mouse and sagina eradication programs are also run by them.

Yesterday I have witnessed a very interesting procedure where a camera and another geo-location device was deployed on 2 x Sooty Albatross breeders.
The ideal is to catch them when they are changing nests but no one knows when that will happen and so it's a matter of luck....and they got lucky as shortly after the deployment of the instruments on the second bird there was a change over. For those who do not know, the Albatross and some other species are taking terns in breeding (male/female partners)

If the change over do/did not happen withing 3 days the device should be removed as it will probably be filled with no useful data. I am not 100% sure what they are looking to achieve other than the distance these breeders fly to feed, on what they feed and maybe how long they stay out. Most of these projects are long term studies.

Anyway, I got a few pictures:

PS: They egg was kept warm during the swift deployment of the devices and the bird seemed not to be stressed and got back onto the nest. It is essential to retrieve the device as soon as the bird return as well. It is fitted to the back of the bird by means of a special 'made in Germany' tape.
 

Offline Tom van Brits

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2601 on: December 04, 2017, 11:19:00 pm »
Hello all

Rather eventful day yesterday when the Geo Searcher called, but more about it just now.

Herewith a Google earth map of Gough with our Glen trip which will always be legend to me.
Like mentioned earlier, there are no plotted gps routes and I told Santjie it feels that we are re inventing the wheel again because we just went on hearsay and followed our instinct - sense of direction and so on.
I trust that more expeditionists will feel the urge to go and do this now that we have showed that it is possible, and maybe even plot a better route into the Glen (from the top) If a guy like me can do it with one dodgy leg, than most expeditionists should be able to do it if they put their heads to it.
It is actually against the rules what we did  :peepwall: (Swimming in the sea) but we never thought of breaking rules, and we were taking calculated risks which one actually always takes when you hike on Gough.

I do not really know why people are so worried and concerned about swimming with seals. We did experience them Very (VERY) aggressive on the beaches because they are breeding, but in the water the same bear could not care less. They are curious and playful in our experience, but I guess it still is wild animals and one never know. It was a rather interesting experience, although I did swim some years back here on Gough with the seals in the 'Deep Glen' at a freshwater pool and waterfall.
Anyway, great memories!
 

Offline zetman

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2602 on: December 04, 2017, 11:50:13 pm »
 :biggrin: baie nice kaart ,,,julle  n warning gekry .om .ni in die  see te swem .nie???
Hoop jy het toe goeie nuus gekry
??? :sip:
Hou die Tyres op die Grondpad...
 

Offline Tom van Brits

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2603 on: December 05, 2017, 12:43:41 am »
The Geo Searcher has arrived a couple of days earlier but we did not see the ship as the sea was rough on our side and they were therefore fishing on the Western side.
However; we had a big problem since our crane is broken....It baffles my mind how things can just decide to break like riding your vehicle to work and after work it would not start. So we have already stripped and did some fault finding but the rain caught up with us. We will have to strip down again soon and see. The technical team is good, and we all are willing to help so if we need part we can get in in January.

So now we could not get our parcels, and we have asked the captain to help. We were willing to set-up an abseiling rig, and 'pulley-hauling' system just to get our parcels ashore. The captain agreed and the only place where this can be performed safely is at crane-point. So we did it, and it worked rather well although it was a timely procedure. I did not keep count but think we had to do 7 lifts.

Captain Clarence was rather impressed with our desperation and to what extend we went to recieve our parcels. Finally I have a back-up camera again as mine has broken when I had a slip and fall while fixing the waterpipes in the river earlier the year (previous team) That was a Nikon 3100 and with the lenses that Xpat gave me it produced very good images as well. I wanted to replace it with the same because I already have a battery charger and 2 batteries for a Nikon 3100 but the model is no more and time was not on my side to order. Then ORMS had a special on a 3300 which uses the same batteries (yes!) and the special included a memory card (although I have a couple now thanks to guys sending me files on them) but it also comes with a very nice shoulder bag. Now the good camera is in the new bag with the long lens (perfect fit) as I love taking that combination with me most of the times. The back up camera with a smaller lens is now in the other bag, so all in all very convenient. My biggest surprise was the sensor of the 3300 - also a 24mpix and since I only shoot in RAW I should also get good results. What it suck at is moving subjects with only 11 focus points and only one cross type sensor. I did however developed a panning style and it is possible to get good images as well. Like said; it is a backup camera as I will go crazy without a camera!  :) :laughing4: The 'kit' was R5K.

I also got new running shoes....mine was really falling apart and some cash to take with me when I return (do not know when yet) The captain is not allowed to let anybody ashore from his ship to Gough if the crane is not operational. He is responsible, because the person will still make use of his powerboats and they cannot sneak up close to the beach like the RIB's. Same for comming of the island - island to ship. It is therefore essential that we do get the crane up and running again.

Anyway, too much talking but thanks once again to Ri our/my angeldog! She allowed me to make a deposit but I had to promise first that I will only pay what the items cost and no more :patch: I thought it is my change to hand her something from my side, but thank you Ri. She did go do all the shopping for me, the tekkies, camera and some plasters (anchor dressings) which I love and want to use on the team mates as we do not get it from the department. Also a couple of nail brushes to scrub wounds like seal bites and so on.

Ok herewith a couple of pics of the 'cargo hauling'. This pics are not my best....sorry. I did not pay attention as I was working/helping but you will get the idea!
 

Offline Tom van Brits

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2604 on: December 05, 2017, 01:03:38 am »
 :)
 

Offline Ri

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2605 on: December 05, 2017, 06:04:53 am »
Glad to help, Tom, and very glad the tekkies fit :thumleft:

As to repayment, you keep forgetting you gave me your old (brand new) camera when you got the larney one from Xpat. People always comment on it when they see me running around taking photo's. I don't go on trips without it! So thank you - as far as I'm concerned I've been paid in full, and more.
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Online woody1

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2606 on: December 05, 2017, 06:57:10 am »
Wat 'n mens nie vir 'n boks wyn sal doen nie.   :laughing4:

Lekker spanwerk.  :thumleft:

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Offline Tom van Brits

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2607 on: December 05, 2017, 11:46:40 pm »
:biggrin: baie nice kaart ,,,julle  n warning gekry .om .ni in die  see te swem .nie???
Hoop jy het toe goeie nuus gekry
??? :sip:

Hi Zet, no issues at all. You know I am sure the guys (brass) at HQ must have a heart and knows that it is not the avg office jockey that applies to spent a year on a remote site expedition. I mean seriously, most of us have a lot more adventure back home than here due to the limitations. By limitations I mean 'confinement'. We can only go to 'so many places' on the island if/when the weather allows. Then we still need to function and do our work, solve problems and so on. So it is not just: pack the back packs and see you in 2 days time! Nope...when the medic hikes the rule is that no one is allowed to use any power tools, or do any potentially dangerous things. (that while the medic and the team leader do a 'potential dangerous hike'  :peepwall: ) So what I am trying to say is this; we are not windgat but we also have lives. If we ask for permission to do a hike like this the changes is good that it would not be granted because of HSE - Potential risks. Keep in mind Santjie is the Senior meteorologist and I the medic, so both of us hike for recreation an not in the name of science. Should anything go wrong we would have been in trouble, but yes the bosses got heart and understanding I would like to believe so as long as there are no official complaint we should be fine to do a nice hike here and there. Zach will join me on the Edinburgh peak hike, and I am looking very much forward to it. Now the weather must give us a break and Zach must have time off, but I trust well get a change. To be honest, my Gough bucket list is ticked. Every extra thing I do from now on till end is a bonus. Standing on Edinburgh peak (few meters higher than South peak) is not going to be much different. I just make up plans for future hike already  :laughing4:

Prof Marthan Bester (rock solid legend) has confirmed today via e-mail while looking at our route that I mailed him that we to a hard route....actually a non existing route till we have completed it.  :imaposer: He pointed out how we should have hiked, and now at least we know. Still there is no easy way in or out the Glen. In Winter when the seals are not on the beaches the coastal route will be ok but then you still need to swim atleast 3 x to go past rocks.

I have tested my 'back up camera' today, and learned how to operate it on full manual.
The entry level dslr cameras makes it almost hard for you to override the pre set auto settings but if you are familiar with Nikon already it takes only a few minutes.
Since the camera came with a real plastic kit lens included (no extra cost) I decided it must be crab. Well....yes it is nothing like the F2.8 Tamron which still is my favorite lens, but I was still rather impressed with the images it produced. The pro-camera is however just so much better and easier to use, as everything can be accessed and changed while you shoot. It is just a good feeling to have a back up camera on hand now and all the lenses are compatible.

On the crane: The department will sent us a small hydraulic pump and motor which we can then tap into the system. That way we will be able to use the crane next year although it is going to be very very slow. Speed does not really matter all that much on Gough though  :)
Good night  :thumleft:
 

Offline Tom van Brits

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2608 on: December 07, 2017, 12:07:23 am »
Just a short walk this afternoon, to see if we can locate the Brown Noddy's on their nests next to the river.
Yes we were lucky and I completely forgot that I was not a young teenager and climbed a Island tree just for a few pics!
I love them, very cool birds. Still going through the photos and I have witnessed something that I thought to be unusual, and captured it on camera.
While the Antarctic tern adults feeds each other they do so in keeping the fish in the beak gently handing it over. However; the Brown Noddy adult feeds the breeding partner on the nest by regurgitating a fish, just like many seabirds normally feeds their young. I hope to share that pics tomorrow but herewith just 2 of an adult on the nest.
 

Offline Ri

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2609 on: December 07, 2017, 06:25:22 am »
I bet birds are the reason for eyeliner  ::)

Beautiful photo's - thanks Tom! Didn't know there were trees on Gough.
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Offline Tom van Brits

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2610 on: December 07, 2017, 03:12:23 pm »
I am back on the 'good camera' and like said the new back up camera will just be fitted with another lens when I go out, like the wide angle lens. Then I do not need to change lenses in the field because there is always (almost always) wind on the island and I already had a nerve wrecking experience to clean the sensor with a cotton swab. Some dust you can easily get rid of in post processing, but then you get that annoying fatty spot and first thing that come to mind is how did it end up getting there is I am always so cautious! But yes it does happen, and therefore I just think that a dslr is a better choice for conditions like this than a mirror less camera which  do not have the mirror infront of the sensor to give extra protection. If I had a mirrorles I would not have changed lenses in the field at all.

The other thing that is evident to me and I did not expect this. The good camera's colour is better regardless of sharing the same sensor. Ok not 100% the same sensor but the only difference is the focus points. It seems that the software or image processor or whatever is responsible for the colour is not on the same level. I could clearly see the difference but ok, I am looking with a critique eye at my photos. However; in a way it makes sense because the camera manufacturers wants (needs) to make money. The new camera is an entry level dslr, and already replaced by a newer model but the colours regardless of shooting in RAW is already saturated and looks just a bit weird to me. Tomorrow I am going up the mountain and then another steep hike once there to where we overnight on the reef when we ran out of daylight on the gLen hike. I will then test that camera with the wide angle lens. I just sort of feel a need to go back there to the reef, a short trip back in memory lane. That hike is now almost 2 weeks old but it is still everyday the highlight of my day when I think back of it and remember how we worked in a team to get it done. I have lost 3kg in weight and thought it to be water only, but still remain the same days later. I need to loose more weight, so when I turn around tomorrow I am going to push even a bit harder. That last bit up Disney ridge is very steep, I will never forget how slippery and hard it was in the rain and wind. Looking forward to do it in good weather!  :thumleft:

Herewith the Brown Noddy's  :laughing4:
 

Offline Tom van Brits

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2611 on: December 07, 2017, 06:56:18 pm »
This afternoon I have decided to try the 'good' lenses on the new camera. The results were even better than what I have expected!
They always says it is all about the glass......and yes they are right.
This sure looks better right?
 

Offline Tom van Brits

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2612 on: December 07, 2017, 07:31:50 pm »
Little Scua  :)
 

Offline Ri

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2613 on: December 07, 2017, 09:42:42 pm »
 :o

The colours on the wings of that Scua coming in to land are AMAZING!! Tom, choosing photo's for your book is going to be impossible. It'll maar just have to be an 800+ book of the most beautiful photographs  :biggrin:
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Offline Oubones

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2614 on: December 08, 2017, 05:34:22 am »
:o

The colours on the wings of that Scua coming in to land are AMAZING!! Tom, choosing photo's for your book is going to be impossible. It'll maar just have to be an 800+ book of the most beautiful photographs  :biggrin:
:thumleft:
And a very blurry one of our friend hidden away in the back cover so as not to scare away everyone. :imaposer: :peepwall: :pot:
Just pulling you leg Tom.
You just amaze me in the way you handle and conduct yourself, huge respect to you Sir.
O, ja. You take very good photo's too! :thumleft: :imaposer:
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Offline Tom van Brits

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2615 on: December 08, 2017, 08:12:32 am »
Thans so much Ri and Oubones! I am ready for todays trip and this thread help a lot wrt  inspiraton!! I'll report  back with some photos 😀

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Offline Groenie

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2616 on: December 08, 2017, 08:18:46 am »
Jissie Tom, ek sweer jou pics raak by die dag beter.

Hulle gaan jou nog 'n jaar daar hou om die life cycle van .... (insert species here)... te dokumenteer.

Hierdie is by ver my favourite thread
Don't look back, that's not where you're going.
 
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Offline Sam

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2617 on: December 08, 2017, 08:50:39 am »
Awesome photo!
 
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Offline Ri

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2618 on: December 08, 2017, 06:12:25 pm »
Awesome photo!

RIGHT?!!!!  :drif:

Every time I see an eye popper like this photograph, I think: This could be the front page! But then I think back to e.g. that rockhopper penguin with its baby on its feet... I don't now, there are so, so many. awesome photo's
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Offline Oubones

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Re: TVB op vakansie na Gough Eiland
« Reply #2619 on: December 08, 2017, 09:35:39 pm »
Awesome photo!

RIGHT?!!!!  :drif:

Every time I see an eye popper like this photograph, I think: This could be the front page! But then I think back to e.g. that rockhopper penguin with its baby on its feet... I don't now, there are so, so many. awesome photo's
Shoo, at least I am not the only one that cannot decide what is the best photo.
There are so many really good ones on this thread. :thumleft:
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