Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February 2nd – The Sounds of Silence

Before we take on the capricious Tasman Sea, we had a lovely day cruising through New Zealand's stunning Fjordland – an area of truly dramatic landscapes and stunning vistas.

In the morning, we cruised through the Dusky Sound, an area of hushed silence where the imprint of man cannot be seen. As we crept through its tranquil waters, the open landscapes were like a lesson in glacial topography – all my geography lessons from school came rushing back to me as we passed a succession of corries, arrets, U-shaped valleys and hanging valleys. What made it even more spectacular was that the weather was gorgeous – in one of the wettest places on the planet, we were really lucky.

If anything, the weather improved when we went to the even more remarkable landscapes of the Milford Sound – a fjord with incredibly steep and sheer sides that tower over the ship, and give the whole thing a really enclosed, almost claustrophobic feel. For this one, I went up to the bridge to give a narration over the open decks, pointing out the many waterfalls, and explaining the unique geography and ecosystem of one nature's most spectacular works of art.

Seeing as this place receives 6 metres of rain a year and that it rains over 183 days a year, we were truly fortunate to see the Sound in such beautiful weather. The forecast for the Tasman Sea looks favourable too – fingers crossed!