Friday – Nov. 11, 2011
This afternoon we conducted bio security which entailed of vacuuming out our personal backpacks and outer gear to prevent pathogens from being introduced into the delicate environment of the Subantarctic Islands. Also, attendance of the zodiac briefing was required to ensure everyone’s personal safety.
Pete McClelland from the New Zealand Department of Conservation gave a lecture about the unique plant life and wildlife on the Subantarctic Islands. The New Zealand government requires a permit to land on all these Islands. Additionally there are many rules regarding the times permitted to enter and the number of people to enter at once. Pete said that the islands are for the birds, thus we are merely visitors. Our visit to Snares Island tomorrow is the first of our many explorations of this region. The stars of these islands are the Yellow Eyed Penguin and Erect Crested penguin that are endemic to these islands. Many travelers are to see those birds to complete their list of the 17 penguin species. Everyone was excited to meet the Captain and his officers at the Welcome Cocktail party. The Captain, Viktror Vasil Yev, has operated the Kapitan Khlebnikov for many years. I’m confident he will get us to the Ross Ice Shelf with a safe return to Australia on December 7th. Sposibo, Captain Vasil yev! For being our Captain! New Russian word of the day “Sposibo” — Thank you.
(This is Laurie’s fourth visit to Antarctica. She is blogging her way through this epic month-long Antarctica trip; the Kapitan Khlebnikov’s Ross Sea Centennial Voyage. Tune in for daily updates from the field. Pictures from Laurie’s past Antarctica travels are found on her website.)