This entry was posted on 12/25/2006 1:33 PM and is filed under New Zealand.
The walking part of this trek is over, but the adventure continues and continues...
We board a huge cruise tour boat which holds about 300 passengers for our tour of the Milford Sound.
on this fiord we see the grandeur of the surrounding majestic
mountains. Mitre Peak is the centerpiece rising vertically over
one mile from the water line. This fiord is a marine reserve and
a haven for many marine animals. We saw Southern Fur Seals
basking on the rocks and small bottlenose and dusky dolphins did their
magical dance right in front of us, leaping and playing in the
water. Dusky dolphins can only be found here in New Zealand.
immediately goes to the front of the boat and starts talking with the
Captain. She doesn't mention her prior experience on the two
ferries. Just chatting. She asks how he drives it without a
steering wheel and he shows her the little stick on the right side of
his chair which controls the movement of the boat. This huge ship
responds to the lightest of movements on the rudder stick.
after we leave the dock the Captain turns to Evelyn and says, "Hey,
it's Xmas, want to drive the boat?" Evelyn is stunned...Is this
really happening again for the 3rd time????
Without any hesitation E-Pod jumps into the Captain's seat and takes over the piloting.
heading straight ahead for about 10 minutes and getting used to the
responsive steering post, the Captain told her to make a gentle 180
degree turn and it was so smooth. The Captain left to get a cup
of coffee and I heard the first mate ask "Who's driving?"
Well,that would be Evelyn! The Captain complimented her on her
delicate touch and after another 15 minutes, he took the seat back so
that he could guide the boat right up against the rock mountain wall.
We came directly underneath a waterfall and could feel the spray on our faces.
passengers complemented Evelyn on her steering and noted how smooth the
ride was. At the end of the boat ride the Captain thanked Evelyn
over the microphone for being such an excellent Pilot! Who would
ever believe this story if it weren't for the photos and movie???
at the Milford Sound they say they are in a drought condition if it
hasn't rained in 3 days! They measure rainfall in Meters, instead
of inches, the way we do. That would be equivalent to us saying
that it rained 2 yards last night. That's a lot of rain.
fact, there is so much rain here that the first 40 meters of the Sound
is often all fresh water before it becomes salt water. In weather
like we had with 3 warm dry days, the ocean water predominates, which
invites more ocean life back into the sound - such as the dolphins we
saw - which apparently is a rare treat.
the nearly 2 hour boat trip down the Milford Sound we were ready for
our next adventure. Our helicopter ride from Milford to
Six of us boarded this helicopter...and off we went...
Check out this movie of bits and pieces of the adventure....
12/28/2006 11:14 PM
WOW - you've made David and me "homesick" for New Zealand, especially
the Milford trek, although they didn't have the private room option
when we did it. It's making me think we need to do it again when Martha
is old enough to join us. All your pictures have been great and i swear
we took some of the same ones!! Isn't Te Puia amazing?? We were there
by ourselves for a few hours!! We actually stayed at the Queenstown
Hotel - my memory is that it was awfully "cute". The helicopter photos
are amazing. We drove up the eastern side of the island (Frans Joseph
glacier) which was beautiful but the helicopter would have been nice.
Thanks Thanks Thanks for all your blogging!!! Happy New Year! Darce Reply to this