Friday 11 May 2012

Portsmouth bound

So arrived safely into London yesterday after the long haul from NZ.  A hectic few days in NZ preceded events, with a night in Palmerston North, and morning spent at part of the Rena Oil Spill debrief for the Wildlife Response.  A lot of good information and discussion, and although the Wildlife Response came up trumps there was still a lot of good discussion on how things can be improve 'next time'.  It's safe to say that in an island nation like New Zealand, there will be a 'next time' (the recent incident in Timaru proves that), it is just a case of when and where.  It's great to know that New Zealand is so prepared for such things, and that there is such a great bunch of people ready to come together for a Wildlife Response!

Had a great night out in London last night, with Sue Flood, Alexa Rice and Cheli Larsen.  A lot of laughs and wise cracks - always fun!

So catching a train at midday to head across to Portsmouth Harbour, where the MV Island Sky awaits.  I have three cruises onboard with Noble Caledonia, with an Island Retreats cruise exploring parts of France, Channel Islands, and the Isles of Scilly.  Then a Birds, Bottlenose dolphins, and basking sharks trip which takes in a couple of the Channel Islands, Isles of Scilly, Lundy and the Saltee Islands (yay!), and a quick dash to France, followed by a Portsmouth to Leith (Edinburgh) trip with some great stops up through the Outer Hebrides, St Kilda, Shetlands and Fair Isle, and Orkney.  So all we need now is some great weather and we have the makings of some excellent trips!  Also nice to have some great friends working onboard as well, and will no doubt have some new ones by the end of our stint when we finish on 5 June.  I then get to catch up with Sue Flood up in north Wales for a night before a few days with my folks in the Forest of Dean.  Will be nice to spend some time there as always!

Then it will be off to Norway for a land based trip through the Fiords, before flying to Lonyearbyen on Svalbard for four awesome trips there with Lindblad.  I am really looking forward to these trips and getting back into this part of the World!  I was last there in 2008 and my camera gear has taken a little leap forward, as I suspect has my photographic ability (Sue, no comments please!).  Managed to get some great images last time, some of which have made it into my Nature Picture Library selection, and still more that I'm pretty proud of.  So fingers crossed it should be another excellent adventure!  More blog posts to come over the coming months.

A couple of nice images from my time in Svalbard in 2008 are below...

An Arctic fox yawns

Polar bear with the remains of a seal kill

A Polar bear on sea ice, the shrinking habitat of this species

1 comment:

  1. Polar bear is an enormous appetite.
    Fox is sleepy. all very nice.