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Ile Amsterdam

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December 6, 2002




Only 89 kilometers (55 miles) away from Ile Saint Paul, Ile Amsterdam is a somewhat larger island with the largest scientific base of any in the TAAF; it was named "New Amsterdam" by the Dutch explorer Van Diemen. It is a gorgeous day, temperature 19 C (68 F) and sunny but with the usual stiff Indian Ocean wind that makes landings a dicey proposition until the French arrange for a ladder to be tied to the dock for passengers to climb from the Naiads instead of scrambling over slippery rocks.
Anchored off the island, the crew begin fishing over the side and eventually are told by the chef to stop after over two hundred fish have been placed in the ship's freezer.
Home to thousands of Amsterdam fur seals, this sign features cartoon versions of the beasts with the caption "Welcome to Amsterdam."
Although there is a single tree species native to Amsterdam, the trees shown here (the first we have seen since Mauritius) are introduced.
The cottages at the station are charming and planted with colorful flowers; this one is named "Le Skua" (the skua).
The voyagers gather outside the station commander's office to learn of their opportunities to explore the island.
Part of our group walks out to Pointe de la Recherche for wildlife viewing. This is the view behind us of the station as we make our way to the coast.
The view at the coast is delightful.
The black lava coast and blue ocean remind me of Hawaii.
More rugged coastline.
A skua hovers in the strong offshore breeze.


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