East of South

Dunedin, Omaru, Moeraki.

The albatross colony near Dunedin is the only nesting colony on an inhabited land in the world. Watching terns, gulls and albatross soar in the cliff's updrafts while the ropelike seaweed made tapestries in the surf below gave us a rare afternoon.

We passed a hedge trimmer on the road. No ordinary hedgetrimmer, this one was trimming 40' trees to look like a hedge. Ed nearly got bushwhacked by a 4" branch as the helicopter blades clear everything in their path.

Our closest experience with a blue penguin was finding one nesting in the dark cavern of an old gun emplacement at the albatross colony. Arriving in Omaru mid afternoon, enthusiastic residents told us we must go to the penguin nesting ground to see the blue penguins. We took a look but the penguins are on a fairly rigid schedule, going out to the water at sunrise and returning at sunset. Since sunset was close to 10pm, Ed and I decided these would be the only penguins we would see in full daylight.

A picnic stop at Moeraki led us down for a beach walk where we found magnificent round boulders that had formed in a similar manner to pearls. I found a bit of peace on a Moeraki boulder.