My First Day in the Sub Antarctic Islands

We cleared immigration and sailed last night from the Port of Bluff on the Heritage Adventurer. Strong south westerly winds created large seas and the ship rocked and rolled all night By midday today they had mellowed and are now quite flat. For me, w we see alking is a bit like having Parkinson’s – it takes me a couple of steps to get my balance and then I can walk around like a drunken sailor

The meals on the ship are excellent with silver-service dining. Wine is included and it’s all very pleasant Breakfasts and Lunches are a buffet but the evening meal is a la carte with the alternatives for each of the three choices.

This morning we were out in Zodiacs to explore the coast of The Snares The Snares, is a small group of uninhabited islands lying about 200 km south of New Zealand‘s South Island and to the south-southwest of Stewart Island. We were not allowed to land on the islands so the whole morning consisted of a zodiac cruise. The most prolific bird on these islands is the Shearwater and the islands are also reported to have r boots than the whole of the British Isles.

The large swell made it difficult to get into and out of the zodiacs. One minute, the little landing at the bottom of the gangway was awash and in the next few seconds, the zodiac was more than a metre before. It was quite an act of timing to be ready to step over at the top of the swell.

The islands are home to the unique Snares penguin ( one of the Crested penguin varieties. They have a bright yellow eyebrow-stripe which extends over the eye to form a drooping, bushy crest. It has bare pink skin at the base of its large red-brown bill.

Back on the ship, we had a very interesting talk by one of the naturalists on the differences between sea birds and land birds. I learned a lot.

After lunch. We had a compulsory Quarantine inspection of our clothing and back packs to ensure that we were not carrying seeds or other contaminants that could affect the biology of the island on which we will be landing tomorrow. I passed except for the ships crew find a single seed in the Velcro on my jacket. I thought it was just a bit of fluff, but they were sure it was an evil seed.

I spent the remainder of the afternoon at the back of the shop trying to photograph the albatross that were sporting around the ship as it traveled.

2 thoughts on “My First Day in the Sub Antarctic Islands

  1. you’ve done well to survive those mountainous seas. Ship sounds terriffic Keep up your notes.

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