Campbell & Enderby – NZ’s Peri-Antarctic Islands

All too soon we’ve left the lack ice and are heading back to New Zealand, at the end of the Antarctic trip.

The southern ocean is being unusually calm but it’s still enough to upset those suffering from sea-sickness.

We make two brief stops en-route back to New Zealand.

Campbell island was great for seeing several Royal Albatross nesting. They seemed very calm and completely unfazed by the horde of yellow jackets passing them by! On the boat we had a group of Chinese photographers – they learned a new word today! Unfortunately something seems to have got a bit “Lost in Translation” – they appear to think “Hush!” is something you shout at the poor albatross to make it move! Fortunately the albatross were far more interested in sitting on their egg, preening and even sleeping than paying the slightest bit of attention to any misguided attempts to make them more active.

Enderby was very wet – it seems Bob (Quark’s historical expert) had ordered the weather as he later admitted the thunderclap had been rather expensive! – but was again fantastic for wildlife. We saw lots of yellow-eyed penguins, more than Nigel (Quark’s ornithological expert) has seen in 8 previous trips together. Perhaps the heavy rain was fooling them into thinking the shore was approaching sea-level amounts of wetness! And far from being the shy retiring creatures we were expecting, they also seemed remarkably unfazed by our presence.

Dodging the “beach-master” Hookers sea lions present on the coastal path we were allowed to walk also caused great entertainment – some of them were distinctly aggressive – and capable of chasing groups up 4foot high embankments!

Although it was a very short time we spent on both islands, it was a great privilige to be able to land at all – I’m told permits are hard to get and very limited – the wildlife after all doesn’t want too many enthusiastic tourists passing by if it is to breed successfully!