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Ile Saint Paul

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December 5, 2002

Moving from the subantarctic to the cool temperate zone, our next stop is Ile Saint Paul (St. Paul Island), a small island that is the peak of a huge volcanic seamount in the midst of the Indian Ocean. Part of the main crater has collapsed and flooded to form a distintictive crescent-shaped, steeply sloped island. The island is also part of TAAF and the French maintain a cabin for scientists to live in while doing research there, but there is no permanent population.
As we approach the interior of the flooded crater, the walls on the opposite rise in rugged greenery.
Our landing site, next to the cabin. Crates of supplies are stacked on the shore.
In the rocky edge of the collapsed wall, two Antarctic terns engaged in mating displays battle the strong winds.
As we climb to visit a rockhopper penguin colony, we pass two young fur seals that gaze curiously at us.
Stone ruins mark two abortive attempts to settle on Saint Paul in the past. At lower right are the remnants of a rock lobster cannery that operated from about 1910 to 1930. Notice the barrel-shaped plugs of cement that lie in a heap on the shore; they were brought by a ship that had the misfortune of them getting wet in passage.
The Shokalskiy at anchor off Ile Saint Paul.
The view from 100 meters up shows clearly the collapsed crater wall and the adjoining fragment that is so much taller.
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Natural Movement
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Moving Long Distance
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