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The Rock-itt : December 2010
lookout has been granted support from the NZ Government and was in excellent condition. We returned to the boat around 12.30pm, the birders spotting a New Zealand Pipit (Richards) and a Tui on the beach whilst we waited for the Zodiacs. Hundreds of Sooty Shearwaters circled low on the bay whilst we waited. Once on board we had chicken and sweet corn soup with salad and the Captain got the boat underway whilst we ate. My trip carried on further South to Macquarie Island but the January cruise doesn’t go that far South but heads South East to Campbell Island. Prior to arriving at Campbell Island there will be a briefing. We were offered a short walk to allow us to view the nesting Southern Royal Albatross or a longer walk to view some other Southern Royal Albatross. Once bitten twice shy, it was the short matey with ‘Gus’. He was leaning so heavily on me that as I moved to go he fell over! Some Hookers Sea Lions also took a great interest in us. One of them was very keen on me and came right up the jetty to try to bite my jacket, lovely animals, terrible breath! We set out on our short walk (it wasn’t that short!) taking about an hour and a quarter to get near to the albatross nests. We were then allowed to wander through the boggy and tussocky ground at will to find ourselves an Albatross to commune with for an hour. I found rather a nice one who was sitting on an egg; my presence didn’t bother it a bit. We chatted for about an hour, conversation was a little one sided, only to be expected when one has an egg to look after. Campbell’s weather didn’t disappoint and from a lovely sunny day we had a brief hail shower, which returned to nice and sunny within twenty minutes. Not much was happening with my bird; I was hoping for a partner changeover or a bit of wing flapping but all was too calm. I struggled back down to the path again and just before it spotted two birds that also had a chick, bingo!! 15 minutes of oohing and aaahing and about a thousand pictures taken. Campbell was wonderful; plant lovers will be amazed at the mega herbs on all of these islands. An overnight cruise back to Bluff and you will agree that you have just had an unforgettable experience around the Galapagos of the Southern Ocean. For all the details, check out www.heritage-expeditions.com They may still have space on the January 4th departure! walk for me! Early breakfast at 7.30am and awake to sunshine and a flat calm harbour. Campbell Island only has about six days a year when it doesn’t rain, we got one of the sunnier days. We had seen a fantastic film of how the New Zealand Government had cleared Campbell of rats in 2002. It was an amazing exercise superbly done. It was further to our advantage because much of the wood that had been used to pack the rat poison has been used to build a long pathway, so not much tussock to deal with. A short Zodiac trip to the small jetty lead to a meeting with two Department of Conservation guys who are working on the island. This was a big bonus because they had a dog with them and I got very This me with a Hooker on Campbell Island! (Hooker seal that is) Proud Southern Royal Albatross parents on Campbell Island. You can tell they are Royals by the black line along the beak. This was the Royal Albatross that I communed with for an hour - not much chat but a lovely view.