The bad news is a huge container ship has run aground on a reef off the beautiful Bay of Plenty on the north island of New Zealand. Oil is already leaking out and the ship may sink causing a gigantic oil spill. Some sea birds, including penguins, have already washed ashore dead or coated with oil. Praying that the powers that be can remove the oil, along with the containers, before the ship sinks and causes a environmental catastrophe.
More news, the good being my ship will be coming in very soon and hopefully I'll be there to jump aboard! We will leave from Auckland, NZ and, wait for it, more bad news, it looks like we could be close to the area of the stranded ship on the voyage to our first stop, the Chatham Islands.
~~~ M/V Orion ~~~
Zodiacs used to access the remote islands
I wasn't expecting this! A package from Sydney, Australia was delivered to the door recently. It contained an elegant zippered binder containing everything I need to know about the upcoming expedition on the Orion.
The page in the brochure above shows New Zealand. Orion departs from Auckland at the top of the north island, sails to the chain of sub-Antarctic islands in a southerly direction, then turns north to Tasmania where we'll disembark following two full weeks of what has to be an awesome adventure.
Paula and I are hoping to get great photos from the wall of windows and balcony in our suite on Deck 5. You can also read the list of other places available to fill our days at sea. I'm hoping to be able to post to my blog and share shipboard life with you.
Packing frenzy is underway! Trying different bags in the quest to have everything manageable. As the trip will be through two opposite ranges of temperatures - cold, possibly wet, in the sub-Antarctic, hot once we reach Australia - this is not easy.