A Perfect Day on Enderby Island

14 January, 2019

Sea Lion in Rata Forest, Enderby Island

Image (c) A Breniere

With the first Zodiac cruise of our Ross Sea voyage thwarted by a heavy swell, we pushed on from The Snares and were greeted by exceptional weather as we dropped anchor off Auckland Island's Enderby Island. Once ashore, the more energetic half of us went on a long walk around the Island, through its postcard perfect fields of megaherbs in full spray and along imposing ragged cliffs fields spotting Yellow-eyed Penguins, Light-mantled Sooty Albatross and lounging Hooker's Sea Lion. Those on the shorter walk leisurely explored the megaherbs impressive flower display alongside Auckland Island Tomit, Northern Giant Petrel and Southern Royal Albatross before spending the afternoon amused by the endless antics of young pups and their mothers, and the territorial obsessed males at the Sea Lion Rookery.

Such incredible weather caught some expeditioners unaware, with several returning to the ship with sun-pink cheeks. Taking advantage of the exceptional circumstances we made an early departure, landing at the old Enderby Brothers settlement Hardwicke after dinner where we enjoyed a peaceful and quiet walk through the Rata forest, escorted by Tui and Bellbirds, from the small cemetery to the Victoria Tree carved in 1864 by the carpenter of the rescue ship Victoria. Aboard our own ship Spirit of Enderby, the bar is filled with excited chatter recounting the day as we make our way to Carnley Harbour.

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