After a fast run north from the Balleny Islands, Akademik Shokalskiy dropped anchor in the sheltered waters of Perseverance Harbour on Campbell Island. Everyone was happy to see land and smell the plants again after a long time exploring the Southern Ocean and Pack Ice.
7th Feb - A great way to experience the wildness of subantarctic Campbell Island with four seasons in one hour and strong SW winds of 40 knots. The anchor held well and there was no stopping our expeditioners who headed out to explore different parts of Campbell Island. One team headed on a day hike to NW Bay with a packed lunch and they were able to stay away from most of the weather fronts as they explored the island - this is a great walk with fantastic wildlife and landscapes.
Others headed out to explore the upper regions of the harbour by zodiac and made a landing at Camp Cove. They then returned to the ship for lunch and then off up Col Lyall, the last boat at 1900 meant we made the most of the Southern Royal Albatross which are more active later in the day. Good amounts of wind meant the albatross were flying high and fast with good sized groups gathering to gam and interact.
We spent overnight on anchor and had an early wake up call for those who wanted to ’summit’ Mount Honey - the highest point on the island. The day couldn’t have been more different to the day before - not a breath of wind, not a cloud in the sky and flat claim seas.
The remainder of the expeditioners took to the water in the zodiacs and headed down the harbour towards the heads and entrance - when we reached the heads the seas were still flat and the sun was still out and along the southern coastline we found wildlife aplenty with Sealions, Fur Seals, Giant Petrels, Skuas, Elephant Seals, Terns, Light Mantled Sooty Albatross adults with over twelve chicks counted. We even had sightings of Erect-crested Penguins which are normally found on neighbouring yet distant Bounty and Antipodes Islands. A rare and great sight. After lunch and a short break it was back up to Col Lyall for some, another zodiac cruise for others or just some time relaxing on the ship.
As I write this we are well on our way north enroute to Bluff on mainland New Zealand.
Photo (from file): ABreniere