Well I have been stumbling around the part of the globe that has Australian and New Zealand on it. This has involved several crossings of the Tasman Sea, today being the third such crossing. When sailing, ships used to traverse the Tasman they would call it the roaring 40’ts in reference to the strong winds that always seem to blow here. Peaceful waters these are not.
Before sailing back to Sydney a few days ago, we sailed around the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island and into the national park Fiordland.
The weather as we sailed into Dusky Sound was perfect, the seas were perfectly flat, even the naturalist on board commented that in his 50 years of working in Fiordland this was a rare day indeed.
A pod of “Dusky Dolphins” led the way as we glided over the flat water. Like all fiords, the banks are very steep, and here support some of the last native plants thought to still be alive in New Zealand.
The park is also home to the Kakapo an endangered large flightless parrot and the Takahe a thought to be extinct flightless rail.
We sailed all day through Breaksea Sound, Doubtful Sound, Thompson Sound and finally Milford Sound where the ship waited for a few passengers who had gotten off the ship the other day and traveled overland to meet us here.
Fiordland is a natural gem in a country that has few wild places left. Cruising the flat water makes the stumbling days on the Tasman worthwhile.