20 Nov 2010

A second great pelagic tour off Kaikoura - 20th

Woke up at 7am and had a pleasant breakfast in the garden. I did make an appeal to the Gods of Albatrosses that the two other presumed partcipants would show up for the 9am pelagic, though they hadn't confirmed it yesterday. I had a walk to Encounters office and had a latte while waiting for information whether it's gonna be a pelagic tour or not. Ten to nine I saw the skipper Gary Melville parking the van in front of the office and he soon told me that the two other had show up. What a great relief! And the funny thing was that the two guys, Leif-Åke and Christer, were from Sweden (Söder in Stockholm). They had travelled for five weeks and had also visited Cook Islands. Leif-Åke work as a journalist (with focus on travelling) on the newspaper Aftonbladet, which is the largest one in Sweden. They were a great and happy company. The weather was perfect, yes, even better than yesterday, as it were more windy. Knownledgeable skipper Gary took another route this morning and also stopped by at a few fishing boats that attracted seabirds. The species and numbers were pretty much the same as yesterday: Northern Royal Albatross (2), Wandering Albatross (7), White-capped Albatross (2), Salvin's Albatross (6), Northern Giant Petrel (17), Westland Petrel (25), Cape Petrel (60), Southern Cape Petrel (1), Hutton's Shearwater (200), Buller's Shearwater (1), Red-billed Gull (10), Black-backed (Kelp) Gull (10) and Little Penguin (2). But, the seabirds were more airborne this windy morning and kept sweeping around our boat all the time. It was indeed an heavenly spectacle to see all these magnificent albatrosses be in their's element. Back to the harbour the three of us were quite mentally exhausted, in a positive meaning. We had a nice latte and espresso at Encounters café before we split up. It started to rain and Gary were kind and drove me to my accommodation at the Lazy Shag.

Wandering Albatross.
Northern Royal Albatross.
Northern Royal Albatross, with a wingspan more than three metres!
Northern Royal Albatross, which were more photo friendly today!
Wandering Albatross, about 3,5 meteres between the wingtips.
Wandering Albatross.
Wandering Albatross.
Moulting White-capped Albatross.
Salvin's Albatross.
White-capped Albatross (left) and Salvin's Albatross.
Cape Petrels, Giant Petrels and albatrosses following the boat.
Westland Petrel.
Northern Giant Petrels.
Cape Petrel.
Hutton's Sheawater, which breed only in the Seaward Kaikoura Range!

As it continued to rain a decided to do some practical and necessary things such as taking a two-hour power nap, shaving my head as I start to look like long-haired hippie, washing my clothes in a nearby automatic laundry, writng up last days sightings and finally I rounded up the day with a walk along the beach and had a lovely seafood dish in town.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amazing pics, did you tick everything? Angie