Boxing Day – The Snares

48° 24 minutes south 166° 36 minutes east

Zodiacing in the Snares

So begins the last full day on the boat.

The trip from the Aucklands has been relatively smooth, but for some reason I am feeling a bit queasy. It is not a hangover, since I actually didn’t drink that much on Christmas Day, plus the feeling is in my stomach not my head.

The sun woke me this morning around 0630, so I got up and had a shower. I had seen some birds flying past my porthole and went outside to take some photos, but the wind almost blew me off the deck. So I went back to bed to await breakfast. I am not sure how sheltered it is at The Snares and wonder if the wind will alter our ability to do a Zodiac cruise. Assuming we get breakfast tomorrow, I am about to have my second last breakfast, but every meal after that will be the last. I will save the post-mortem of the trip until tomorrow when I potentially have many hours to kill at the airport.


Snares Crested Penguin jumping

The wind persisted but dropped a bit, enough for us to go on a last Zodiac trip. It was an incredible trip. The seas meant that it was a bit of a wet trip but the wildlife was abundant. We saw the Snares Crested Penguins, which really should be called Mountain Climber Penguins for the steepness of the rocks they were climbing up. We cruised through a natural arch that was long enough to be called a tunnel and found a small freshwater pond where the penguins seemed to be having a bath. Being the last group through we stopped there watching them for about 15 minutes bathing and jumping from rock to rock.

When we went back out to sea to head back to the ship we found ourselves in a feeding frenzy of penguins and Cape Pigeons. We were surrounded by birds diving and feeding.


Cape pigeon taking off from water

All too soon we had to go back to the ship for lunch. This was followed by a wrap-up of the trip and a briefing about tomorrow. It is a 0630 breakfast and the bus leaves around 0800 for the airport.

We have left the Snares and our now steaming for Bluff. I am not sure how far it is, but no doubt we will travel through the night. The pilot is due on board at 0500.

It is now time to have a shower, get into my going home clothes and pack my bag.


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