It’s a long between places in this area of the ocean. To reach Macquarie Island from the Auckland islands, it took a day and a night of sailing. It took a similar period to get from Macquarie Island (my last post) to Campbell island. It is now taking us in another 36 hours to return to the Port of Bluff, back in New Zealand.
Campbell Island was formed by a shield volcano between six and elven million years ago. Some limestones have been deposited over the original lava and these make some of the cliffs look at very white. Most of the land is covered by Tussic Grass with the lower slopes covered in a dense variety of coastal heath and ferns. This island is windswept and remote.
The island is famous for its Mega Herbs (giant, cold, climate plants), but we were too early in the season to see them, they are relatives of the carrot. The Macquarie Island cabbage is one of the few species that has survived the grazing by sheep from a period when the island was farmed.
A famous item, at the head of one of the little bays in the main harbour is the loneliest tree in the world. It is a Sitka Pine, a remnant of the days in which hardy settlers tried to farm sheep in this area and failed. The tree was planted around 1922 and survives as the only tree on the island. In fact, it’s nearest neighbouring tree is on Auckland Island, some 800 km away..
We saw many of the usual forms of fauna, including skewer, giant, petrols, and Albatros. In was lucky enough to get a clear shot of a white faced heron. All the birders on this top were keen to Gert a photo of this bird and I just shot it as it sat on a branch and we glided by in a zodiac.
There were many sea lions lazing on the shore and popping their heads up out of the water sea lions are distinguishable from true seals because they have ears and a face that is more like a dog.
The island has undergone an intense program to eradicate rats, which has enabled birdlife to flourish. It was late in the afternoon when we left the harbour at Campbell Island and sailed through the heads, passing Bull Rock. This cliff is home to thousands of albatross that nest on the tears along the face of the cliff.
I was hoping that after my first test, five days ago, I would continue to test negative e to Covid-19, but no such luck. On the following day, my RAT test was positive as was another this morning. I saw the ship’s Doctor who was rather nonplussed. He advised me that Covid was not much worse than a bad flu, and that I should wear a mask near others, keep to myself and stay low. Subsequently, I have been spending most of my time in my cabin. My cabin mate, Robert was able to be moved to another cabin, so I now have this one on my own, I’ve delayed my return home to Australia by a few days to ensure that I have abided by New Zealand’s Covidrules of isolating for seven days after first testing positive.
I my illness might of been at the peak yesterday when I had a sore throat, coughed a lot and had the sneezes. Apart from that, I haven’t had any major head or muscle aches, and I feel a bit more chirpy today then for the last few days. I’m glad I downloaded some Netflix movies onto my phone as I now have some entertainment as I sit here looking out the window at the heavy grey sea and rolling waves.