We are on the move again heading north to Auckland Island. The weather is sunny and, for 50 degrees south latitude, warm. Lunch was served on the aft deck. Albatrosses and other birds ride the turbulent air behind the ship, first swooping low over the water than riding the wind above the ship.
The MacQuarie Island visit yesterday was outstanding. We made two landings, one at the far northeast corner of the island, near the permanent base and than later in the afternoon about 4 or 5 miles south of their but still on the east shore.
The elephant seals were impressive. The adults weigh 3 to 4 tons and are well over ten feet long. They reminded me of Jawa the Hut from Star wars, massive blobs that spend most of the time lying on the beach or in the grasses next to the beach. They are pretty benign and you often walk within 10 feet of them.
The penguin populations were great. Kings, Gentoos and Royals were abundant. A population of Rock Hoppers were visible on the hill side as we cruised in the Zodiac's back to the Orion.
The King penguins were especially cute. They are very curious and would walk to within a few feet of you regularly. We were able to take some wonderful close-ups of the King penguins. Their colors are striking so they make great photographic subjects.
The bird life at Auckland island should be equally prolific so we look forward to an enjoyable visit there tomorrow.