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Ambassador Albert

Albert is a little blue penguin from the Cape Palliser coastline in the southern Wairarapa. He represents the 26 students of Pirinoa School.

Monday 16 June

Hi everyone,

Albert the beautiful blue penguin here. I’m from Pirinoa School and I think I am the perfect ambassador to send on a trip such as this. I am hoping to meet other penguins on this journey but in the meantime I have made lots of new friends with six other ambassadors joining us on this trip.

Before the RV Tangaroa could leave on this huge voyage we all had to pass our Safety Course and learn about the ship. I learnt that you need to be careful when launching the life raft or it can get stuck and not make it into the water!

Tomorrow we will be well out to sea.

See you then,


Tuesday 17 June

Hi all,

I had a great day on board RV Tangaroa today, the weather was fine and I wasn’t feeling sick anymore. I am impressed with all the great food they have on board and I managed to eat a huge lunch complete with fish – my favourite.

Tomorrow we will be in position to use the CTD to take seawater samples so I had better have a good night’s sleep.

See you in the morning,


Wednesday 18 June

Kia ora

We are now so far out to sea that we can’t see land, which is pretty cool. I imagine there is so much good kaimoana out here it makes my mouth water!

We discovered that science is all about trial and error today because the scientists worked hard to get the CTD deployed and then it came back with no samples. The water bottles were empty because the mechanism that closes the lids didn’t work. That must have been so frustrating but at least it was just a test run.

Tomorrow we will deploy more Argo Floats.

See you then,


Thursday 19 June

Kia ora koutou

We have arrived at our final test site and are in position ready to deploy our Deep Argo Floats as well as a couple of regular floats. It doesn’t seem to have taken that long to travel over a thousand kilometres, especially when you consider that we have only been travelling at about 11 knots per hour (20km/hr). 

Phil told me that Argo Floats don’t bother wildlife as they move slowly and don’t look or smell like food. Argo Floats can last about five years before the battery and float dies – just imagine how many ten day cycles they can complete in that time! One Argo Float has been transmitting data for an amazing nine years.

Well I’m off to help out on deck.

See you tomorrow,


Friday 20 June

Kia ora

The ocean looked much calmer today. There were no white caps as the wind had dropped but there were some big swells rolling across the sea. I saw more albatrosses today and some cute little petrels called Cape Petrels – these black and white birds look like little flying penguins and are very cute! (I wish I could fly like that).

We deployed the second Deep Argo float today and it was so cool to see it sink below the surface to begin its first ever dive out in the ocean. These floats are prototypes and it is the first time they have been used for real.

Well, I’m off to enjoy the weekend, see you on Monday.


Monday 23 June

Hey there everyone,

It has been another pleasant day out in the middle of the deep blue ocean today. There are reasonable swells coming through but it is not too windy so the ship isn’t moving around too much. I am disappointed that we haven’t seen any penguins on this trip – maybe when we get closer to land we might see some. I helped Matt with the last CTD cast today and he said I would make a great scientist.

We have started our journey back to Auckland but before we reach water that is too shallow we shall be deploying the last of the three Argo Floats tomorrow.

See you then,


Tuesday 24 June

Hi everyone,

Who would have thought that nine days could go so fast? I can’t believe we are almost at the end of our journey. I have really enjoyed my time at sea but can’t wait to get home to share my adventures with you all.

I helped deploy the last Argo Floats today and I also managed to see what happens to polystyrene in deep water. We sent cubes of polystyrene down to 2000m on the CTD and they came back half the size! It just shows you what the pressure of all that water can do.

See you back home soon,


Albert and models from Lord of the Rings movies.

Albert checks our position and progress on the map.

Albert gives the scientists advice as they prepare the CTD machine to take seawater samples from a depth of 2000m.

Albert looks at the quick release mechanism that releases the sling around the Argo when it hits the water.

Albert finds the life ring on board RV Tangaroa.

Albert doesn't need to be with someone just because they have a life jacket.

Albert enjoys the view off the stern of the RV Tangaroa.