Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Taveuni Install – 25 October

After a week of waiting for equipment, we finally installed our first seismometer at Taveuni, “the garden island” north of Viti Levu (the main island) and east of Vanua Levu (the second largest island). The flight we took to Taveuni was on a Twin Otter, which was the smallest plane I had ever been on. It was so small, we almost didn't get all of our equipment onto the plane. We flew at only about 6,000 feet and had a great view of the ocean and reef below us.

When we arrived at the island, we installed our temporary (broadband) station right next to a permanent (short period) station on government land. Having the station on government property next to an already installed station provides a little extra security for our equipment – the people who live there can keep an eye on the site. The only drawback to the installation was the large boulders of volcanic rock that we had to remove as we dug holes for the sensor and for the solar panel mounts. When we finished, we realized that the station we installed had a fantastic view of the ocean from the hill where we buried it.
Following the work, we were treated to a fantastic home-cooked meal: fish in coconut sauce, eggplant, taro and salad at the rest-house where we stayed. Later that night, we had a few bowls of kava with our very friendly host and some of his friends. From what I did see, the island is lush and very beautiful – lots of coconut and papaya trees. Unfortunately, we were not able to stay on Taveuni for very long – our flight was at 8 am the next morning.

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