Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Today we are rained off. It seems that it will continue all day so we have decided that comfort rules, OK. As I have frequently said, when VBW starts – in 86 days time – I will have no choice – I will have to walk every day, rain or shine – but at the moment I do have the luxury of staying dry..

On Saturday we drive back down to Dunedin to meet friends Rod and Caroline King for the day. They are on a cruise ship which is in port from 0830 until 1630. They will catch a taxi to the magnificent Dunedin railway station, which is definitely worth a look, then if the weather is fine we shall whisk them out to the albatross colony before dropping them back to their ship.

Albatrosses are amazing creatures. Not only are they huge, but their lifespan is similar to that of humans, they can fly at 80 mph whilst barely moving their wings. Their maiden flight is not a training run – they depart from here to Chile and around the world. They stay away for years, then return to find a mate, marry for life, raise a chick, then separate for two years of roaming. At the end of this period, they return to the nesting ground separately but on the same day!

They are wonderful fliers, but sometimes they get it wrong. One wonders what happened to this poor creature we found on the beach in the Catlins last week.

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