Photo courtesy of Linblad Expeditions
A few weeks ago I wrote about seeing puffins in the wild, and what surprised me the most about these birds was how small they are. Being the size of a duck, puffins are bit difficult to observe from 15 decks up. This made me think about a number of other wildlife encounters that are best experienced on a small ship cruise. In fact, some of the best wildlife viewing around the world is on a small ship.
Last week I shared the first part of our three week itinerary on the North Island. This week continues with the South Island portion of the itinerary.
We gave up our car in Wellington and hopped on the fast ferry which took us across the beautiful Cook Strait into Picton. Here we picked up another car and headed off to Nelson. We didn't include time to go into Abel Tasman Park, but Nelson is the perfect base for those who want to explore the park and boutique wineries in the area.
At a recent meeting we were asked to share our most favorite travel experience. Well, I certainly have been very fortunate with respects to travel, having been on numerous memorable trips to spots all around the world (six continents and counting!). So when it comes to a favorite, I have several, for very different reasons.
But when pushed to choose only one, I consistently come back to the same, one destination.
I saw puffins for the first time in Alaska. Beautiful, colorful, adorable, funny little creatures.
We were cruising along the Kenai Peninsula, near the Fjords National Park, when we came across a fairly large breeding colony. Thousands of birds sitting on the cliffs, floating on the water, flying with their short wings flapping crazy fast. Their "crash" landings were quite funny (especially after learning they don't hurt themselves!). Quite a memorable moment.
What surprised me the most about these birds?