The weather presented some challenges for our sail to Oban and Steward Island which is a natural habitat for lots of wildlife. We were lulled to sleep by the swells in the sea and awoke to continued high winds as we approached the island. The captain decided the sea was too churned up for the tenders to take us safely to our port…so instead of being ON the island, we were on the ship all day, looking AT the island. Yes, a disappointment, but we all agreed that “safe” instead of “sorry” was the best decision!
The area in which we had anchored near the island allowed for our ship to settle down from the shifting and rocking, only to begin again once we entered the open sea again. We had yet another night of being lulled to sleep as we journeyed west toward our next destination, The National Fiordlands!
Sunshine and warmth welcomed us to the narrow passageways along the western coastline of New Zealand! The skies were blue, a stark contrast to the beautiful, lush landscape of the fiords. We were able to stand in awe of the majesty of the mountains as we stood on outside decks of the ship maneuvering in and around Dusky Sound, Doubtfull Sound and our favorite, Milford Sound. A naturalist offered scenic commentary which enhanced our experience. We learned that Milford Sound is one of the wettest places on earth…it rains about 2/3 of the year…and we landed a day without rain!!! Another interesting tidbit of information was that the snow left on the mountain peaks had been discolored by the smoke from the Australian brush fires! Thatsa long way for smoke to blow!
We’re off on our adventure to Australia. Our first stop will be in Tasmania. The journey will take us 2 days at sea to get there, and thankfully, the weather forecast is in our favor for the ride over!