The Auckland Islands are remote, windswept, and spectacular. While “sheltered” in a protected bay from the raging gale blowing outside, we longed to explore what existed nearby. The islands are very green with a strong hint of red at this time of year. The southern rātā tree is flowering, and a gorgeous red hue surrounds us. A few birds pass, including the endemic shag and some distant prions. Keen eyes spot a penguin cruising by us. Enjoying the comforts onboard, we look forward to tomorrow.

Photo caption and photographer: The forest of the Auckland Islands. Photo by Mike Greenfelder