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.
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 airports — but it was the sound of that pup that I identify as my goodbye to New Zealand and the glorious southern hemisphere.
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.