The breakfast bar was quiet; we had been rolling all night, and the slower progress meant that we were still a few hours away. As we got closer to the sheltered eastern side of the island group more passengers emerged from their cabins, eager to see what our first island group would have in store. We had received a briefing about zodiac cruising beforehand, and everyone that wasn’t still suffering from sea sickness was keen to begin exploring the coastline. The Spirit had five zodiacs on board, manned by guides and crew. Loaded in, our zodi buzzed the short distance from the Spirit of Enderby to the SE corner of the main island, North East Island.
Things started slowly, with a solo red-billed gull the first sighting. “Is that it?” someone joked. Excitement grew as we spotted our first Snares crested penguin/pokotiwha. Soon single sightings grew to groups, and as we moved up the coastline camera shutters were bursting away and everyone was professing their amazement at the amount of wildlife condensed onto the coast. With limited introduction to above-water predators, the penguins showed little outward concern at our presence.