Friday, 9 Feb - Picton NZ

Photos of the Day
The long entry into Picton, through the Marlborough Sounds, offers stunning views. This is the area that produces my favourite wines, but we didn't see anything that looked like vineyards, just forests and steep islands and sailboats. Interesting fact: there's about 1 boat for every 4 people in New Zealand.

 Picton is a small, pretty city, with a very interesting waterfront. From the pier, we boarded a smallish power catamaran and headed to the Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary, where we spent about 25 minutes climbing to a spectacular look-out. We heard many birds, but saw only one. Our guide explained that originally, New Zealand birds had no predators. When rats, stoats and possums were introduced, the birds quickly became endangered. Now the country hopes to rid itself of these predators by 2050. They've started by clearing off shore islands and now are working on peninsulas. There's a barrier across the landward end, and traps everywhere for the predators. Apparently the bird population has rebounded significantly. From the boat we saw a tree full of nesting cormorants and several kinds of fish, including millions of jellyfish.
On the way back to the harbour, we were suddenly surrounded by about 12 or 15 porpoises, who travelled along with us for several minutes, frequently leaping. Not sure if either of us got a photo, but it was quite a thrill to experience.
I did well at Mensa quiz today, as did a lot of others. Trivia, not so much.

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