Lands Down Under (Day 18)

January 28

Cruising the Bay of Plenty

[Gorgeous weather for an all-day cruise on the way to Auckland.  Actually, it should be called the White Island cruise.  We hung around here pretty much all day, which was great, doing 360’s in the big boat and circling the island to make sure we got photo ops from every possible angle.]

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[Whakaari / White Island is an active andesite stratovolcano, situated 48 km (30 mi) from the east coast of North Island in the Bay of Plenty.   It is New Zealand’s most active cone volcano, and has been built up by continuous volcanic activity over the past 150,000 years. The nearest mainland towns are Whakatan and Taurnage.  White Island has been in a nearly continuous stage of smoking at least since it was ‘discovered’ by James Cook in 1769.  The island is roughly circular, about 2 km (1.2 mi) in diameter, and rises to a height of 321 m (1,053 ft) above sea level.  However this is only the peak of a much larger submarine mountain, which rises up to 1,600 m (5,249 ft) above the nearby seafloor. Sulfur mining was attempted but was abandoned in 1914 after a lahar killed all 10 workers. The main activities on the island now are guided tours and scientific research (Wikipedia)].

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[So I hope you like photos of volcanoes?]

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[Smaller boats cruised close in . . . ]

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[Helicopters came and went . . . ]

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[A white “sea” of Australasian gannets . . . ]

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[A breeding colony of about 3,000 pairs.]

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[A much smaller island – appears to be unihabited.]

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[Islands in the Mist?]

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[Visitors arriving at the volcano . . . ]

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[I believe tourists as well as scientists make pilgrimages here . . . ]

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[If not a plane or Superman, a gannet.]

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[The vast emptiness of the open ocean . . . and the Super likes this?]

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[A blue helicopter joins the fray . . . ]

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[Now the area looks like a helipad.]

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[I hope it doesn’t blow . . . ]

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[We and the ship would be in deep doo-doo!!]

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[Rock outcrop islands abound.]

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[Probably not the same gannet.]

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[There is much joy in Biddieville.]

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[Rounding the far end . . . ]

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[Time for cruise comforts – though The Biddies plot their next escapade.]

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[Beautiful “Lake Darling” getting worldwide exposure.]

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[Is that Kim Kardashian over there?]

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[Say “kiwi”!]

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[Did I mention it was a really, really nice day?]

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[Let’s check out some other action shipboard . . . ]

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[The Super goes for a wade – I went for a wine.]

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[And the ship is swinging around again . . . ]

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[And there’s our volcano . . . again.]

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[Surely it must be time for a cold beverage?]

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[Good idea!]

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[Mmmmmmmmmm, refreshing!]

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[Two hot babes and a hot volcano!]

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[Could this be the last pass?]

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[Yup, heading off again into the abyss.]

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[Either good fishing or swimming here.]

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[And then on to our luxury skybox with wingback chairs and beverage service.]

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[Whoa!  A wildlfe sighting – then they were gone?]

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[Back to the beverage service . . . ]

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[Is this a James Cameron movie?]

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[It just looks way cool!]

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[Master of all she surveys . . . ]

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[The Last Supper]

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[The next morning we would be fending for ourselves in Auckland.]

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[‘Nuff meat, Bill?]

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[Looks like chicken, but not something I ordinarily order?]

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[Finally we, and the sun, go to bed . . . ]

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And once again the Super took enough photos (or her tablet took some all by itself) for her own section

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[I’m going to submit this for display with the Nashville, Indiana, Historical Society.]

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[And we’re going to submit this to the Indiana University Alumni Hall of Fame!]

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[Really, it was this BIG!!]

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[But I managed to reel her in!]

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[Has my head stopped shedding?]

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[Did I mention it was this BIG?]

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[And whom amongst us doesn’t love a good volcano?]

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[Hoki mai!]


If your heart is a volcano, how shall you expect flowers to bloom?  ~  Khalil Gibran

Up Next:  Two days in Auckland and then Homeward Bound (with homages to Paul Simon).

About tomobert63

The Journey Begins Thanks for joining me! This is the follow-up to the original, “,” which overwhelmed the system’s ability to handle it any more. Thus, this is “Part 2.” As the original was initially described: 10-26-07-4 “It all began in a 5,000 watt radio station in Fresno, California” . . . wait a minute, that was Ted Baxter on the Mary Tyler Moore Show! Let’s see . . . oh yeah, it all began in 2003 when retirees, i.e., old people, in Alexandria, Minnesota, who had no desire to become snow birds, went looking for mid-winter entertainment here in the frozen tundra of West Central Minnesota. We discovered girls’ high school hockey, fell in love immediately, and it remains our favorite spectator sport to this day. Initially, and for several years, reports on these games were e-mailed to those who were actually snowbirds but wanted to keep abreast of things “back home.” It was ultimately decided a blog would be more efficient, and it evolved into a personal diary of many things that attracts tens of readers on occasion. It remains a source of personal mental therapy and has yet to elicit any lawsuits. ~ The Editor, May 9, 2014 p.s. The photo border around the blog is the Cardinal girls’ hockey team after just beating Breck for the state championship in 2008. It’s of the all-tournament team. The visible Breck player on the left is Milica McMillen, then an 8th-grader – she is now an All-American for the Gophers. The Roseau player in the stocking cap I believe is Mary Loken, who went on to play for UND; and the Cardinal player on the right, No. 3, is Abby Williams, the player we blame most for making us girls’ hockey fans who went on to play for Bemidji State. *********************************************************************************** Photos contained herein are available for personal use. All you have to do is double click on any of the photos and they will become full screen size. You can then save them into your personal “My Pictures” file. They make lovely parting or hostess gifts, or holiday gifts for such as Uncle Ernie who wants to see how his grand niece is doing on the hockey team. If any are sold for personal profit, however, to, for example, the Audubon Society, National Geographic, Sven’s Home Workshop Monthly, Curling By The Numbers, or the World Wrestling Federation, I only request that you make a donation to the charitable organization of your choice. You have two hours and fifteen minutes. Pencils ready? Begin! **********************************************************************************
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