'The deepest trenches, highest mountains, biggest earthquakes, most explosive volcanoes are all associated with these places. We’re discovering things all the time.'
For ten years, the RV Southern Surveyor represented the vanguard of Australian marine science. On over 100 voyages, this former North Sea fishing trawler with her distinctive blue and white livery carried scientists and technicians across the Southern, Pacific and Indian oceans as well as the waters off northern Australia. She conducted physical, chemical, geological and biological investigations and deployed state-of-the-art instruments to map vast unexplored tracts of the seafloor.
Over the course of a year, prior to her final voyage, Michael Veitch interviewed the Southern Surveyor's former captains and crew, support staff and scientists. The result is a warm, engaging and sometimes dramatic account of their adventures — finding sunken WWII shipwrecks and swirling coastal vortexes, 'undiscovering' islands and watching pre-dawn fireworks from undersea volcanoes. But these are also stories of discovery which tell the legacy of scientific innovation and impact that Southern Surveyor left in her wake.