I saw an active Volcano on Thursday morning!
As we were sailing south along the Pacific Coast of New Zealand, the ship paused to circle NZ’s most active volcano, White Island (Whakaari).
Captain Cook named it White Island on Oct 1, 1769 because it always seemed to be surrounded by a white cloud. Not very observant, he didn’t notice that it was a volcano! The Maori were more observant (after all, they lived there!) and called it “Te Puia o Whakaari,” meaning The Dramatic Volcano.
Bandwidth limitations prevent me from uploading my video of the white plumes, but I will do so when I get home. We sailed around the western side first, an important bird sanctuary, We saw birds hunting in the waves, they have a good deal here!
The plume was quite evident coming from the western coast. Then the ship turned and we went around the island counter-clockwise, and the belching floor of the volcano was in full view, with its most recent (now cool) lava flow very much in evidence.
White Island has been an active volcano for as long as human memory stretches. Its last major activity was in 2012. The full history of the volcano can be found on Wikipedia.
Sulfur mining was attempted, but did not work out, as the land was too volatile, and miners were killed.
It was an amazing experience circling this force of nature, seeming placidly spewing white clouds into the air, but potentially very powerful. The forces of earth, fire, water and air were all present, the four elements, and perhaps we formed the Quintessence, observing it all. We are situated in this great cosmos, observing and loving it all.
Internet reception and sending is spotty onboard, and I apologize that my blogs will be intermittent. Tomorrow we get to visit several locations for the filming of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, outside of Wellington, and so my blog may be delayed until the next morning.
I am experimenting with posting via email, so I am not sure how this will look! Wish me luck!
… Sorry for the brevity and typos: Sent from remote on the phone.
Steven A. Armstrong
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