Hamish Lilley checks the engine room of HMNZS Wellington during a recent tour of the ship. Photo supplied.
A Dunedin teen has his sea legs and is ready for a big
adventure on the southern seas.
Otago Boys' High School year 13 pupil Hamish Lilley (17) will
fly to Auckland tomorrow to join the crew of HMNZS Wellington
and 11 other teenagers from across the country for a major
climate research expedition to the subantarctic.
Joined by a group of New Zealand marine scientists,
environment and business leaders, the group will sail for the
Auckland Islands, via Bluff, at 10am on Monday.
Hamish is one of 12 secondary school pupils taking part in
the 13-day 2014 Young Blake Expedition, which will assist
representatives from the Department of Conservation, New
Zealand Antarctic Research Institute, Niwa and University of
Otago undertake research on the islands.
Sir Peter Blake's daughter, Sarah-Jane, will join the group
for the four-day Auckland-to-Bluff leg of the voyage.
The expedition's mission is to draft a feasibility plan for a
subantarctic research station, which it is hoped will be
built on the Auckland Islands early in 2015. The station
would allow New Zealand scientists and worldwide agencies to
work together towards understanding the effect of ocean and
climate change as the world warms and what the impact would
be on New Zealand's environment, biodiversity and economy.
Hamish is the only Otago pupil selected by the Sir Peter
Blake Trust to take part in the expedition.
Tasked with inspiring and mobilising other New Zealanders,
through their Auckland Islands experience to know and care
about what is happening to the marine environment, he said he
had already planned to give several talks to Dunedin clubs on
He was excited about the trip, which was going to be
He said the group flew to Auckland in December to spend a few
hours familiarising themselves with the ship and each other
and mark the 12th anniversary of Sir Peter's death.
He was most looking forward to seeing the Auckland Islands.
The group hopes to spend up to five days on the islands,
sleeping each night on board the ship.
Sir Peter Blake Trust chief executive Shelley Campbell said
Young Blake Expeditions aimed to give young Kiwis the
knowledge and skills to become the future leaders of New
Zealand as well as to continue the work of Sir Peter,
particularly in the deep Southern Ocean, an area which Sir
Peter observed early on to be crucial to understanding the
effect of man's impact on our marine environment.