This is a World Heritage site and a nature reserve, New Zealand's highest status of protected land.
Sunrise: 0549. Sunset 2207
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
The ship arrived around midnight at Enderby Island and anchored in Sandy Bay. We had a relatively early start with the first zodiacs leaving for the beach (about 1 km away) at 0830 hours. There are very strict rules about what you can and can't take onto Enderby Island. No food at all and boots need to be cleaned on the ship before departure. On the beach was a large sea lion colony and I spent some time just watching them. It was a good time to visit as it is birthing season and there were lots of new born pups. The males are huge (can weigh up to 410 kgs) and like to fight with the other males, chase the females and continually try to mate. It was very noisy. A twenty minute walk along a boardwalk is the other side of the island. Along the way I saw an albatross nesting, some gliding gracefully in the sky. I walked through a small forest of twisted southern rata tree trunks and saw some clusters of Enderby Island gentian (a pretty little pink and white flower) and megaherbs. The other side of the island was not very pleasant (positively blowing a gale), so I didn't stay long. I didn't see any yellow-eyed penguins, the rarest penguin in the world and relatively unique to this area - there are only 500 pairs left in the world. The weather changed quite quickly from sunny and mild to blustery and cold with a biting wind. I feel privileged to see all this as there are only 600 visitor permits given out each year.
Back to the ship in time for a late lunch. The afternoon is free time as we head to the other end of the Auckland Islands (three hours away) to cruise Carnley Harbour, but it was really rainy and gloomy and you couldn't see much. After cruising as far as Musgrave Peninsula, the Captain turned the ship back down the Harbour and we headed to Macquarie Island. I have been recruited to a Trivia Team and our team came equal second in the competition.