Not only is Saunders Island an even more amazing place than Sea Lion Island, but the sun reappeared this afternoon — I was beginning to fear it had burnt out. The FIGAS flight was again scenic, although I had my seatbelt fastened as tightly as possible due to the high winds. The several stops included two grass airstrips, one of which had three small hills on it — takeoffs are a bouncy enough affair normally, but doing it on a roller-coaster airstrip adds a whole new element to the event.
Once the plane arrived at Saunders I was met by David Pole-Evans, the very nice owner of the island. He reminded me a bit of John Goodman, and has been living on the farm long enough that he can make an expression like “righty-o” sound quite natural. It took an hour by Landrover to drive out to the cabin on the Neck, and now that I’m here I’ve got the place to myself for two nights. The landscape outside is a spit of land between two mountains that is loaded with wildlife and bordered by large white-sand beaches. While hiking the black-browed albatross were flying by so close I thought one might hit me, rockhopper penguins roamed past me as if I wasn’t there, gulls followed me in flocks, and a pod of dolphins was swimming about ten meters offshore. Life is indeed very good right now.