Another EARTHWATCH trip for me, and this time to Picton, New Zealand.
The quaint and picturesque town on the far north tip of the south Island was the new home of the Edwin Fox, a sailing ship.
The Edwin Fox was the last of the East India Trading sailing ships of the 1800s and had been on a sandbar since the 1950s. Stuck there after its last trip, an ignoble journey as a coal hauler.
It had been decided to tow it to a berth and restore it. Tough to impossible to restore her since the Master builder of the 1800s had not left blue prints! He simply said, “cut it here, put it there.” We were there to take measurements of the ship and these measurements were to be turned into a blue print for the restoration.
I was assigned to do the stern measurements with another gal, Mina, who hailed from San Francisco. We were exacting in our work and often had to lean over the side to get the measurements.
I was rather new to eyeglasses and did not have a strap on them for protection.
Yep! Right over the side they went. That ended my work right then and there.
A quick trip to town to an optometrist and a plea for glasses now. He said it would take 2 weeks but maybe—well, he would see what he could do for me.
I was side lined!
He called in two days and had the new glasses for me. I couldn’t believe it, and they cost half of what they would have cost me in the USA.
I was back on the stern working and noticed our PI (principal investigator) donning dive gear. We had been told it was necessary to check/survey the bottom/keel of the ship so I figured this is what he was doing.
Down he went and the bubbles floated up telling us where he was. He was not under the ship, he was along side it!
Then the masked man popped up and a voice said in broad Australian accent and holding up a pair of glasses said, “Would these be yours?”