Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The Essence of Wild Freedom

To sit and watch an albatross is to contemplate the essence of wild freedom. These free spirits induce a peaceful  introspective experience in the observer. They are magnificent, gentle creatures.
Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that it is you sitting quietly with an albatross. On second thought, forget about closing your eyes. You won’t be able to read this. Wild surf pounds on the shore. Wind sighs through the tussoc. There is a cacophony of albatross and penguin calls all around you. Watching, listening and photographing, you feel closer to nature than you ever have before. The contentment of the young bird is contagious. The stress of your busy life at home forgotten. You are at peace for the first time in a long time. In some small way you feel grateful to the young bird. The important things in life seem to come in to sharper focus.
That was our day today.
We had brilliant weather for two absolutely outstanding landings:  New Island in the morning and West Point Island in the afternoon.  None of us will forget this day.  Striated Caracaras were ubiquitous on both landings.  Their bold and inquisitive nature added some amusement.  Rockhopper penguins were mixed in amongst the albatross.  Most of them were moulting.  It was a beautiful walk to the albatross colonies and at West Point there was tea served with lots of scrumptious cakes and cookies.
When we left West Point we saw lots of whales.  Of particular note was a large group of Sei whales.