Posts Tagged ‘squid’

8th December 2008

December 8, 2008

We have been fishing for 4 days now on a deep ridge just north of the ice edge, around 65 30s 178 30w. Results are slow as these areas are notoriously difficult to work. Foul grounds with many rocky outcrops and under sea pressure ridges that snag our lines on the bottom and, above that, strong currents combine to create real challenges for fishermen in these latitudes.

Many of the depths we work are between 1,400 and 2,000m, that’s a mile down and a long way to haul a longline from. Usually it takes about 1½ hours just to get the anchor up!

Several fish on one of the lines we hauled today came up showing signs of encounters with Colossal Squid, 1,850m down. The attached photos are showing Matt, one of our crew, holding a 35kg Toothfish that has been attacked while hooked on the line.  You can see the huge sucker marks and the giant sized bites left by the Squid as she ate lunch.

Matt holding a toothfish with evidence of a Colossal Squid bite

Matt holding a toothfish with evidence of a Colossal Squid bite

Occasionally a Toothfish will come aboard with remains of Squid in its stomach, indicating that, this time round, the toothfish had won the struggle.

Rgds: John B.

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27th November 2008

December 4, 2008

The Antarctic Chieftain is:

  • 62.8m long
  • She weighs 1136 metric ton.
  • Can hold 615,000ltrs of winter grade diesel fuel.
  • Her top speed is 13kts but her most economic cruising speed 9.8kts.

Today the crew are making up fishing gear and generally getting the ship ready for Antarctic working conditions. At noon we had a ship muster with our 4 new crew members trying on their survival suits for the first time. By the time we reach the ice edge everyone will have been fully trained in survival techniques in freezing conditions. The rest of the crew were organized into fire fighting and emergency response teams.

Weather conditions for traveling are great, W-SW 15-25kts, mod sea.
We are hoping that within the next few days, if the sky is clear, we’ll start seeing signs of the southern lights as we head deeper into the Southern Ocean.

Rgds: John B.

Pearau & Adam making up fishing gear

Pearau & Adam making up fishing gear

25th November 2008 – 12:00hrs

December 3, 2008

Antarctic Chieftain sailed from port Nelson bound for Antarctica and CCAMLR  ( The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources ) waters.

We had a slight delay while waiting for some paper work to arrive but eventually got underway after dropping our harbour pilot off and making a course to round Stephens Island and head through Cook Straight.

ETA into CCAMLR waters 29th Nov, weather permitting. 

Total crew for the trip;
John Bennett – Skipper
Tangi – 1st Mate
Pete – Chief Engineer
Karl – 2nd Engineer
Mathew – 2nd Mate
Steve – Factory Manager
Mike – Cook
Renata – Boson
Theodore – Leading hand
Paerau – Leading hand
Christopher – Deck hand
Shand – Deck hand
Nicholas – Deck hand
Noel – Deck hand
Chevy – Deck hand
Aaron – Deck hand
Joshua – Deck hand
Adam – Deck hand
Kahu – Deck hand
Noelan – Deck hand
Marli – MAF fisheries observer
Peter – CCAMLR observer.

Weather conditions, Nly 25 – 30kts on the port shoulder, mod sea, easy going at 10kts. Boat muster and fire drill are scheduled for 18:00hrs.

Rgds: John B.