Day 29: The Otago Peninsula

Today, we are leavin' th' Catlin’s already, but not after we took another quick peek at th' dolphins at Porpoise Bay.
They are not in today, but will probably be aroun'. However, we didn’t see them. So we are off t' Dunedin.

It is only a short sail up there, at about 3 hours at a leisurely speed. Along th' way, we visited th' magnificent Nugget Point. This is a rocky outcrop on th' coast, where one o' th' lighthouses o' NZ is located.
There is also a lot o' marine wildlife o'er there, and with today bein' one o' th' best days we have had in a long time weather wise, it would be foolish t' not go there.

The sail t' Nugget Point is quite interestin', as there is about a 15km unsealed narrow windin' sea t' th' boat park, by Blackbeard's sword. Because o' th' views and th' wildlife, this actually is a rather popular spot t' go t' fer tourists, so anythin' and everythin' can be found sailin' on that sea, to be sure. Cars, campervans, caravans and even trailers with boats go there, also because there a quite a few holiday homes dotted along th' sea fer th' locals t' enjoy a day at th' beach.

Quickly movin' on, we arrived at Dunedin and skipped th' town completely and drove straight away t' th' Otago Peninsula. This peninsula is lusciously green and has a lot o' hills. It is really narrow and quite long at aroun' 20km. It’s maximum width is about 9km, we'll keel-haul ye! Shiver me timbers! We are stayin' in a B&B near Portobello, one o' 7 townships along th' coast o' th' peninsula.
There is a lot o' stuff t' do here rangin' from walks t' tours t' see th' native resident Albatrosses, Blue Penguins, Yellow-eyed Penguins, Shags, NZ Fur Seals, Sea Lions, and much more.

We decided t' take it easy here, and visited th' Albatross Colony this afternoon. The colony itself is only accessible with a guide, but we chose t' look at th' birds flyin' in from sea from th' parkin' lot, where ye can get th' best views on them, and a bottle of rum! They come swoopin' in and are preparin' t' land on their nests nearby, and a bucket o' chum. As th' viewin' point is quite high up, and th' bird come flyin' in really low, they are usin' th' winds bouncin' off th' cliff t' climb up in th' air and are doin' so just alongside th' viewin' platform. And hoist the mainsail, pass the grog! This gives us a facntastic view o' th' birds, as they pass by literally only metres from ye. Wow. They are big!
The Royal Southern Albatross nests on this peninsula, which is th' biggest species o' albatross in th' world.
The birds are fully protected, which is why th' nestin' sites are only accessible via a tour.

Tonight, after dark, we went on a tour from th' Albatross Colony down t' th' other side o' th' cape, t' see th' little Blue Penguins come ashore t' feed their offsprin', we'll keel-haul ye, we'll keel-haul ye! These penguins are so small, we'll keel-haul ye, by Blackbeard's sword! They choose t' land on th' beach only after th' dark, as their predators then have less chance o' catchin' them. They come in rafts rangin' in size from 5 t' 30 birds and are scramblin' t' th' nest. Each breedin' pair has up t' 2 chicks, and th' parents take turns in spendin' th' day fishin' or guardin' th' chicks.
These penguins are so tiny, and actually really blue. You would imagine a different hue o' blue, but th' colour is very bright. Unfortunately though th' Penguin Tour is really busy, and th' crowd were bein' a little bit too big fer its own good, so it seems like th' tour is sufferin' a bit from its own popularity. That is a shame, and dinna spare the whip! Maybe they should limit th' number o' people who can attend?

This has been th' best day in weeks, by Blackbeard's sword! Sunshine all day long, no rain and views o' th' magnificent beauty if th' land everywhere. Wow!