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About Grazza

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  1. Here is the first batch. I have had to crop them or reduce the resolution, and use a bit of compression in order to get the file sizes acceptable for imageshack. More to follow.

    All these were taken on or near Whakaari/White Island.

    <img src=http://img501.imageshack.us/img501/7849/sh100385ut8.th.jpg>
    Approaching White Island.

    <img src=http://img520.imageshack.us/img520/3676/sh100396px2.th.jpg>
    The view from the landing site towards the main crater. It looks pretty evil - maybe I should have brought a BFG, just in case.

    <img src=http://img404.imageshack.us/img404/3869/sh100426sg0.th.jpg>
    There were many of these hot soggy mounds spewing sulphur. They have a tendency to collapse, revealing a boiling hot acidic pool. The sulphur doesn't crystallize (with its distinctive yellow colour) until its temperature has got as low as 94C.

    <img src=http://img257.imageshack.us/img257/7430/sh100452lo9.th.jpg>
    A small sulphurous pond together with some hot mud.

    <img src=http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/9237/sh100459ks2.th.jpg>
    "Fumerole 1" in all its glory, with part of the crater rim as the backdrop.

    <img src=http://img238.imageshack.us/img238/476/sh100468lk8.th.jpg>
    A view into the main crater. Some way down below is the crater lake, whose level has fallen over the last year, as has its acidity - it had been pH 0.9.

    <img src=http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/8651/sh100480ik7.th.jpg>
    Another view across the main crater, with the crater rim in the background.

    <img src=http://img291.imageshack.us/img291/4215/sh100495al9.th.jpg>
    With such levels of acidity and heat, erosion occurs quickly. The landscape around the main crater changes very rapidly, even when there aren't eruptions for several years.

    <img src=http://img260.imageshack.us/img260/7674/sh100500yw3.th.jpg>
    The view looking back towards the entrances to the crater.

    <img src=http://img520.imageshack.us/img520/1272/sh100504mx9.th.jpg>
    View towards the main crater, with one of the guides providing a sense of scale. (His helmet is pink; he hasn't taken it off.)

    <img src=http://img261.imageshack.us/img261/2343/sh100507ao6.th.jpg>
    Another view towards the Fumerole 1 area, with more reddened rocks in view.

    <img src=http://img265.imageshack.us/img265/603/sh100510fn3.th.jpg>
    A boiling mud/water pool, the typical result of one of those yellow mounds collapsing.

    <img src=http://img453.imageshack.us/img453/3406/sh100514gd3.th.jpg>
    A close-up of a vent, showing the needle-like structure of the sulphur crystals.

    1. Show previous comments  5 more
    2. Grazza


      Some more:

      <img src=http://img339.imageshack.us/img339/447/sh100516la1.th.jpg>
      Bubbling mud.

      <img src=http://img509.imageshack.us/img509/3452/sh100518vd8.th.jpg>
      Not quite your typical relaxing stroll in the countryside.

      <img src=http://img510.imageshack.us/img510/3552/sh100522yj6.th.jpg>
      An alien landscape? No, just one of the streams on the island. The water is rather acidic - don't drink too much of it.

      <img src=http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/4303/sh100539ot3.th.jpg>
      Not the easiest environment for trees to grow in.

      <img src=http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/3526/sh100543hk9.th.jpg>
      Some useful information.

      <img src=http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/3016/sh100555iy3.th.jpg>
      Part of the equipment from the abandoned sulphur mine, with the benefit of several decades of corrosion.

      <img src=http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/9079/sh100570xy7.th.jpg>
      A view across what is left of the mining works.

      <img src=http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/6439/sh100575gl3.th.jpg>
      View from the sea towards the crater entrance. Note the broken jetty (not sure if this was caused by a mudslide or an eruption).

      <img src=http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/7804/sh100579vu1.th.jpg>
      Another view from the sea, of part of the crater rim.

      <img src=http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/9666/sh100607ev5.th.jpg>
      A fur seal sunning itself on a nearby rocky islet. The 15x zoom came in handy here.

      <img src=http://img382.imageshack.us/img382/6241/sh100614xl0.th.jpg>
      Statue of Wairaka at the entrance to Whakatane's harbour. You can look up her role in naming the town yourself.

      These last two were taken over Afghanistan. I needed to boost the contrast so they wouldn't look too washed out.

      <img src=http://img523.imageshack.us/img523/3976/sh101177eq0.th.jpg>
      This scenery, with clearly-defined layers of horizonal rock eroded in this way, reminds me of parts of Spitsbergen.

      <img src=http://img527.imageshack.us/img527/2314/sh101178wg8.th.jpg>
      Quite a major canyon system, somewhere northwestish from Kabul.

    3. lupinx-Kassman


      Nice photos, it looks like a pretty cool place.

    4. Bucket


      Grazza said:

      Statue of Wairaka at the entrance to Whakatane's harbour. You can look up her role in naming the town yourself.

      I'm guessing that she died during some disaster or fierce battle. She fought bravely for her life... or maybe screamed and ran away. She could've died unceremoniously, buried with a pile of other unnamed victims underneath a huge unmarked mudbrick slab. None of this matters, because the only reason she has a town named after her is because every guy in the village, including the flaccid elders, wanted to tag her virgin ass.

      EDIT: Oh, she steered a boat.