NB: All time tides given are Lyttelton times. The New Brighton area differs little. (add 5 minutes)

Diary: Monday 7th January 2002

Conditions at New Brighton

(43/ 31 South, 172/ 43 East)

SUNRISE: – 5:57 am.

TIDE: – Low 5:54 am. (0.3 metres) 

MOON: – Rise 1:36 am, Set 2:39 pm. Last Quarter yesterday 6th-1-2002.


‘One (of the tracks) was actually a small Sand Scarab Larva imbedded in the wet sand at (the) low tide. Odd. Dropped that in the sand dune ice plants above the high tide mark on the way home.’

This time a pleasantly surprising discovery; a Sand Scarab Larva, dug in 75 mm, (3 inches) down in the salt water saturated sand, zone was lying there happy as can be all curled up in a ball. Surely it could think of a better, more comfortable place to sleep. Finding a sand dune grub behaving in this fashion a little hard to accept, both as a natural and a meaningful phenomena, is what prompted the mental response of ‘scoop the poor bedraggled thing up and place it in an empty film container’ with its subsequent release into the sand dunes at the end of the walk home.

Have you ever been told not to mess with nature? I guess it goes without saying that even upon finding a fly in a spider’s web, then it’s a case of ‘leave the flamin’ thing alone!’ This is rather difficult at times, and the sight of a drowning Sand Scarab Larva was just too much. 

Unusual as this find was, the episode soon faded from the mind.

But this was found to be only the forerunner of what in due time, turned out to be an exciting exploratory journey of discovery which began in earnest in the coming March.