Porter visited the Sub Antarctic Islands on the Heritage Expeditions ship Spirit of Enderby late last year. ‘The vessel carries just 50 passengers, a knowledgeable expedition team (who shared their passion in the lecture theatre and their zodiac driving skill on the water) and a Russian crew of 20,’ she adds. ‘The first 36 hours saw us travel some 700km south to Campbell Island. Though the Southern Ocean wasn’t at its most fierce, we felt the roaring 40s and furious 50s the further south we journeyed. We awoke to sunshine and calm waters in the shelter of Perseverance Harbour on Campbell Island and guests were given options – a full day hike to Northwest Bay, or a morning of zodiac cruising and afternoon walk to the Southern Royal albatross colony at Col Lyall.
‘I opted for a more challenging excursion the next day, climbing to one of the highest peaks of the Auckland Island’s Carnley Harbour – a steep climb through untamed bush. After dinner we returned to the zodiacs for an evening cruise amongst rock hopper penguins and sea caves.’ Porter says at Enderby Island, still part of the Auckland Island group, passengers were greeted on shore at Sandy Bay by dozens of hooker sea lions. ‘Most passengers opted for a full day’s walk around the island, where we were saw yellow eyed penguins, mega herbs, rata forests, more sea lions and a ship wreck. ‘Our final visit was to the Snares Islands, where landing is prohibited, so the morning was spent zodiac cruising around the shorelines.’ Highlights included viewing Snares crested penguins using a giant rock face slide to enter and exit the water.