What's left of the factory with the yacht in the distance. I love this picture, showing modern man's machines versus the machines of old.
As we headed back to the yacht, there was a very obvious milky quality to the water. That was the current that the sulfur took into the ocean. Apparently, it didn't really affect the sealife there. Many people come here every year to dive in the area. People also come to fish here. They can do that in a very specific area around the island. Things are very reglemented in New Zealand. I think that's the only way they can do that without destroying the things that make New Zealand the pristine country that it is. I'm really impressed with their conservation methods and with how so many people are dedicated in keeping it this way. I have a lot of respect for that.
And because it was such a beautiful day and the waters were calm, we were able to navigate around the island to see what the rest of the island looked like. It wasn't all barren land. On the other side there were traditional New Zealand trees called Pohutukawa. They flower in Christmastime and so are called Christmas trees here. I can't wait for them to bloom.
But a lot of the trees look like this...
They have been chemically burned from the ash falling on them. After the ash falls from an eruption, it rains and the ash turns into a kind of paste which basically burns the trees until they die. No fire or flame is involved, instead it is a slow death.
When it rains on Whakaari and people are visiting it, they get acid rain. They can feel the stinging on their faces. The guide, a woman, cheekily said that it was a free chemical peel. I laughed out loud.
Below a little video of the island to show what the other side looks like. It was a much bigger island than I had expected.