Day 33 Feb 6 (Fiordland National Park Cruise)

Not exactly a sea day. We sailed from Dunedin last night and awoke today to Barbara (our port expert) on the PA system describing the park. This is a huge park on the southwest corner of the South Island of New Zealand. It is very similar in some ways to the fjords of Norway or the glacier area of Alaska (College Fjord comes to mind). By the way, I am not making a typo when I type fiord for the New Zealand variety. That is how they spell fjord in New Zealand.

So, up early (around 7:30) to be on deck for our entry into Dusky Sound. We circle a large island and exit the area into Breaksea Sound. Pretty but I'm beginning to wonder if maybe it isn't all that.... They did have coffee and food on deck for us so we could enjoy the scenery and nourish ourselves at the same time. Tough life again.

We reentered the park again about an hour and a half later in the Doubtful Sound. (Supposedly so named by Captain Cook - the guy was everywhere and apparently one heck of a map maker!!! - because he didn't think it was more than just a slight cove.) I found some friends at a good table on the back end of the Lido deck. We had good conversation, coffee and great scenery. At about noon we left Doubtful sound - Captain Cook was wrong about this one. It was pretty deep!

We had a two and a half hour break while we proceeded north to the final and best fiord. This one was entered at Milford Sound. This fiord was absolutely amazing!! Great scenery. It was the biggest of the three and had the highest steepest sides and was big enough at the end to have a large resort hotel and an airstrip. The one disappointment for me was that there was almost no snow or glaciers. We caught sight a couple of times during the day of some high mountain glaciers but none come to the water like in Alaska. Other than that it was really beautiful and worth the trip.

We were once again blessed with great weather! We have been so lucky on this trip weatherwise. I'm telling everyone I brought the sun from El Paso but I'm not sure they're buying it.

We clear the third and last fiord in time to go to dinner. After dinner I went to the movie ("No Reservations" - Catherine Zeta Jones seemed the right choice over the comedian in the live show. I learned the following day that I definitely made the right choice).

We gain another our tonight.

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