Our motley crew en route to swim with sea lions.
Our motley crew en route to swim with sea lions.

It’s been a few weeks since my journey to the Southern Hemisphere came to a close… but I left my last blog post with a promise to finish the story. I will spare you the minute details (like how amazing it felt to order off of a menu, or how many days it took me to get my ‘land legs’ back), but I couldn’t wrap up the adventure without a proper ode to New Zealand. We arrived in Lyttelton, NZ on Christmas day in the morning, two days ahead of schedule. The two extra days in New Zealand were indeed a lovely Christmas present, and in the company of my new friends I set off on a small adventure to the coastal town Kaikoura, famous for it’s lovely seashore, and abundant marine life.

Arnold Rakaj and I in Kaikoura, NZ
Arnold Rakaj and I in Kaikoura, NZ

It did not disappoint. While in Kaikoura we were able to swim with New Zealand fur seals (thank you Seal Swim Kaikoura!), I could have kissed bow riding dusky dolphins (though of course I did not), I saw an elusive little blue penguin, and at the fur seal rookery I heard a sound that tipped the scales in my mind about pinniped acoustics; I listened to the whimper of a day old fur seal pup as he explored the world for the first time. While that was not the final sound I heard in New Zealand, the adventure continued for a few days longer through the gardens of Christchurch, the Canterbury Museum, a handful of hotel courtyards, and of course many airport, but it was the sound of that pup that I identify as my goodbye to New Zealand.

 

As T.S. Eliot wrote “This is how the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a whimper.”

Your Former Antarctic Correspondent, signing off.

Michelle

Newborn New Zealand fur seal pup.
Newborn New Zealand fur seal pup.
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