Auckland Islands: Approaching Auckland Islands
After a day and a half of rough sailing we approached the Auckland Islands, another uninhabited subantarctic island group belonging to New Zealand and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are several islands here – Auckland is the biggest, while the smaller Enderby Island has a lot of wildlife on its sandy beach. Severe winds from the west prevented any possibility of zodiacs – almost 35-40 knots. So we spend nearly a full day just offshore, having tried to anchor twice unsuccessfully as the wind kept dragging the ship off the anchor point and horizontal rain pummeled everything in sight. The birds seemed to enjoy it however, as many albatrosses soared in the wind (Auckland Islands is the albatross capital of the world as 6 species nest and can be seen here). Oh, and a rare and endemic Auckland Island shag just flew by as well. Check!