How to eat on fieldwork?

It’s time to let you in on the secret to our success—good food.


Kurt tucking into some bacon and egg puff pastry pies at our early lunch at the Rarawa wreck site, western Wreck Bay (Boulder Bay)

We have been incredibly lucky to have had many of our meals, from breakfast to lunch, dinner to dessert, and everything in between, cooked for us by Sandy Wishart.


Maddy and Vanessa finishing off the pies on the ferry ride home at 15:30

Today was no different with individual bacon & egg puff pastry pies with spiced pumpkin chutney and her signature choc chip cookies. /MF

Sandy’s tips for fieldwork food include:

1. A nutritional balance between carbs and protein.

2. ‘An egg in the house is a meal in the house’, an egg represents a powerpack for the body.

3. Food has to be transportable and kept fresh.


Todays lunch cooked for us by Sandy

Spicy Pumpkin Chutney recipe:

A tasty condiment for cheeses, meats and curries.

1 tablespoon oil

2 onions, peeled and diced

2 teaspoons crushed garlic

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon ground coriander

4 cups diced pumpkin (about 1 kg unpeeled or 750g peeled weight)

2 cups sugar

3 cups (750ml) apple cider vinegar

Heat oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and saute onions, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and coriander for 3–4 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add pumpkin, sugar and vinegar and simmer gently for 40–50 minutes until pumpkin is tender and mixture has thickened. Spoon into hot, sterilised jars and seal, or store in an airtight container in the fridge. Makes 5–6 cups.


A skipper joins the team

Today, Howard Bennett joined the team as the skipper of Chinook. Howard holds a coxswains offshore ticket and has 40 years of boating and diving experience.

Howard on Chinook

Howard on the bow of Chinook

It was great to have him make his vessel available to us because in fog-free conditions it makes the trip to Rangitoto faster and also allows us to have a longer day as we are not restricted by the ferry schedule. We will be making use of his vessel again on the next fair weather day. /MF

Howard searching for a suitable landing site for the dinghy

Howard searching for a suitable landing site for the dinghy

Spotlight on: The blogger

There’s a lot that goes into organising an archaeology research project behind the scenes. From applying for ethics approval and contacting interview participants, to filling in risk assessment forms and organising the equipment needed for the methods that are going to be used, as well as the logistical elements such as transport to the site each day, accommodation and meals. All this means that Kurt, the project leader, doesn’t have a lot of free time.

However, we felt that making the fieldwork process transparent and publicly available would be a huge boost for maritime archaeology as a discipline in New Zealand, as well as a way to raise awareness about protecting these unique resources.

This is where I come in. Working closely with Kurt, I am the self-appointed ‘Social Media Manager’. I won’t get to New Zealand for another couple of weeks but in the mean time I will keep you posted on all the research happenings. Please write a comment if you have any questions or feedback so far! /MF


The blogger on Rangitoto Island on the track to Wreck Bay in January 2013