Posting by Barb:
We made the long drive to the East Coast and stopped at Dunedin (the name comes from Dun Eideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, capital of Scotland) so it was a very Scottish little town. We splurged and spent a night at Larnach Castle, a mansion on the ridge of the Otago Peninsula. The rooms, each with unique character reflecting the 19th century era, were built in what once were the stables.
We had an amazing dinner served at a round table with all the guests sitting together and as the meal progressed, the castle hostess would pop in during various intervals and tell the intriguing story of the various owners of the castle most ending in tragedy and death. As a result, the castle is said to be haunted and has been visited by paranormal investigators. Dennis and I spent a couple of hours touring the grounds and we were in a photographic bliss (the results can be viewed in our photo album).
We spent a day at the nearby Tairoa Head where the world’s only mainland breeding colony of the Royal Albatross is (putting the picture into perspective, this large Albatross has a wing span of about 6ft). It was a very windy, blustery day which apparently the Albatross birds need to encourage them to fly. So next time we are sailing in +40k winds I will refer to it as an ‘Albatross Day’. They are an amazing bird. They spend their first 5-7 years of their life in the water or in the air and when they finally come to land to mate they are unable to walk for the first day or so as their legs are not accustomed to carrying their weight. I can somewhat relate to that after my very first sail, 42 days from Chile to the Marquesa and my land legs were pretty wobbly. The wonderful fact about the Albatross is that they mate for life. Tairoa Head is also home to the fur seal which we were able to come within a few feet and the Blue Penguin, which unfortunately we did not see.