Albatross, Penguins and Timber, Otago Bay, South Island.

Dunedin, on New Zealand’s south island, is Garlic for Edinburgh and when we sailed into Otago Bay, on which Dunedin and its seaport Port Chalmers are located we could see a similarity with Scotland.  One of the main exports from Port Chalmers is wood, and you can see it stacked on the wharves, in the round for shipment to China, and cut into dimension lumber for Japan.  The sail in was delayed because the giant Norwegian Jewel (another ship we see in Alaska in the summer) was entering port before us.  The winds were such that she was not sure she could safely dock.  Because the channel is narrow Amsterdam stood outside the channel until the Jewel was safely tied up.  Then it was our turn so we were actually awake to watch the beautiful trip through the bay.

Port Chalmers is dominated by the Presbyterian Iona Church.  Its place in history is that it was the port where Robert Falcon Scott started his two Antarctic journeys.  I wish we had time to spend in Port Chalmers, especially in its maritime museum, but my main goal was to ride a train (Described in Taieri Gorge Railroad.)  So for us Port Chalmers was just a touch point on the way.

We’ve been skirting weather on our run down the East Coast of New Zealand.  Bad weather preceded us and it follows us, and rain was on and off during the afternoon and the sail out providing nice rainbows and greening up the countryside after a dry summer.  At the tip of the Otago Peninsula at Talaroa Head there are rookeries for little blue penguins and the royal albatross.  It is the only Albatross rookery in the world accessible by car, although from the deck of the ship we got a good look.

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