Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Diary of a new site build - Days 2/3

Shopping list for the trip:

3 tonnes of concrete mix
Timber  (8 6m 4x2, 10 1.8m 4x4, 38m 4x1)
Metal Cabinet (1.5m x 1.5m x 0.65m)
6 125W Solar Panels
Solar Panel Frame (lots of steel piping!)
50m of Alkathine Piping
1 x concrete mixer
1 x generator
Tools - LOTS! 
3 x 4WD vehicles
2 x trailers
1 x Rhino (See Photo 1)
1 x Helicopter
4 x GeoNetters

Ruatahuna is a two hour drive from Rotorua with most of the drive a winding unsealed road through the forest.  Day 2 started with rain, lots of it! The site was at the top of a hill on farmland and was a 15min Rhino ride on a 4WD track up and around the hills. Due to the weather,a helicopter and concrete was out of the equation so it took quite a few trips to get the gear up to the site, then we could start the digging! Daniel was hard at work on the vault while Lara and i started on the 15m trench, and Sam was in charge of bringing up the gear in the Rhino. By the end of the day we were all very wet and tired, although the rain did give us a break for lunch! (What a way to spend my birthday!)

The Rhino!

The base at the bottom of the hill

Daniel digging the vault in the rain

Is that heading our way?

Trench - girls can dig great!

All that digging is hard work!

The site

Day 3 was fine! Cold, windy but the sun did peek out at times.  The helicopter was called and took the heavy gear - concrete, timber, cabinet and solar panels (and i snuck on!) up to the site. We then got the vault and base for the equipment cabinet, ready and mixed up the concrete - lots of it! Once the concreting was all done we started assembling the frame for the solar panels, then packed up just before the darkness set in.

Dropping off some gear

Daniel 'Boxing' up the vault

Hard at work!

Now we are all off to bed all ready for another long day in the field. 
PS - we did let Daniel out of the vault hole!


  1. Really cool to see, thanks for the insight. What a cool PR exercise to show us a 'day in the life of a Geonet field geologist' (or whatever your titles are)!

    Also quite incredible to see seatbelts and helmets on the Rhino - big ups to your H&S manager.

    Love the trench, and not a bad spot for scenery eh!?

    Well done.

  2. Thanks Sarah! Safety first! And in-between the rain and wind, it was quite pretty!

    I'll update the last day shortly (my camera went awol!)