Icebergs sighted off Auckland Islands heading towards New Zealand
Four icebergs sighted off the Auckland Islands are believed heading towards New Zealand, according to Rodney Russ, Expedition leader on the polar tourist ship “Spirit of Enderby.”
Russ, an expert on Subantarctic New Zealand, said this is the first time in almost 40 years of visiting this area that he has seen icebergs so far north.
“They currently appear to be moving north at about 1.25 kilometres per hour. It is possible that they might reach New Zealand intact – but they are showing signs of deteriorating and breaking up.
“We first sighted them 10 miles off the eastern entrance to Carnley Harbour in the Auckland Islands. Weather and sea conditions at the time prevented a closer inspection but weather conditions improved today and we were able to locate them and sail close by.
“They had travelled 19 nautical miles to the north and they currently lie six miles east of Port Ross at 50º 38’S, 166º 25’E,” he said.
The “Spirit of Enderby” left the Auckland Islands on Wednesday (November 18) bound for Macquarie Island and fully expects to encounter more icebergs as they were seen by researchers, based on Macquarie Island, last week.
“The crew of the vessel has been put on special ‘iceberg lookout’ as these icebergs pose a significant risk to shipping. We have never had ‘iceberg alerts’ in the Subantarctic islands before. ‘Iceberg lookouts’ are a feature of our Antarctic voyages but have not been deemed necessary on a Subantarctic Expedition, but maybe that will have to change,” he said.