New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands - 2008

predominantly formed of high and steep granite cliffs where many seabirds nest. The island is comprised of 27,844 acres. The island sits atop a shield volcano, or perhaps is more accurately labeled a shield volcano. Campbell Island is usually characterized as cool, cloudy, wet and windy. The island basks under bright sunny skies for only 650 hours a year! For 215 (59%) days of the year, there is less than a single hour of sunshine! There are 4.76 feet of rain every year and moisture finds the island at least 325 days a year. The island is often raked with wind gusts of 50 knots, so often those winds occur at least 100 days out of every year. Variations in daily and annual temperatures are small and the mean average temps move between 40F to 52F. It was a chilly 46F degrees when we offloaded onto the Zodiacs; it did warm up a bit as the day went on however. With statistics whirling around in our anxious minds and mixed with the warnings staff were giving us that many times it is impossible to make a landing on Campbell because of the weather, we all stood alert and apprehensive as the Clipper Odyssey made its way through the long fjord up to the beautiful harbor. The scenery was wild and magnificent with huge cliffs decorated with columnar basalt and madly slashing tussock grasses. What a magnanimous gift Mother Nature bestowed on us. We easily clambered aboard the Zodiacs to speed to shore over a calm sea with bright blue sunshine showering down on the island and on us, its grateful visitors. We were greeted by a feisty Hooker’s sea lion as we made our way from the landing site to the boardwalk. He was not really aggressive and did not impede our progress as we walked on the iron sections of the pathway through the very dense bushes and onto the meadow with its whitewashed wooden portion. The path was about 18 inches wide and we had been warned not to step off the pathway unless absolutely necessary. The boardwalk made our walk very easy despite the fact that it occasionally “stepped up” little hills. We really appreciated the work of DOC personnel who had put it in when we reached its ending about midway towards our destination. Then our way became more laborious as we tussled our through the tussocks and the other splendid megaherbs (see below). The walk up to the

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