We woke up this morning to calm seas in front of the beautiful NE Bay of Campbell Island. Perfect conditions for Plan A: a Zodiac tour of the dramatic rocky cliffs of the bay, including stunning waterfalls, caves to explore and drive through, and a new species of penguin for many: the southern rockhopper. We are still being pursued by several of our now familiar seabird friends.
After our early morning outing, we repositioned in Perseverance Harbour before lunchtime to allow intrepid hikers to get ashore with plenty of time for their seven-mile hike. We were welcomed to the beach by a large elephant seal bull, and the hike took us up through grass tussocks to the ridged backbone of the island. We had 360° views of dramatic bays on both sides of the islands and rocky peaks at the tops covered with mega herbs. The route had us navigating slippery slopes, massive undergrowth, and some steep climbs. The rewards were worth it. Beautiful flowering mega herbs were the highlight of the foliage. Southern wandering albatrosses soared above and settled in their nests, likely the highlight of the avian fauna, although the Campbell Island snipe and flightless teal were up there, too.