Milford and Dusky Sounds

Milford Sound New Zealand - 01

Approaching the entrance to Milford Sound. Not looking that good.

Milford Sound New Zealand - 03

But wait! It gets better.

Milford Sound New Zealand - 08

It does not get much better.

What a day. Nothing describes the views here. You just have to gaze and watch it all unfold.

The approach did not look good. It was a grey day with thick cloud shrouding the mountain tops. A long rolling swell caused the ship to roll gently.

Once inside the sea smoothed out and the sun started to burn off the mists. The cloud started to lift and by the time we had reached the end of the fjord at the town of Milford the most of the cloud had dispersed. Overnight heavy rains had charged all the waterfalls and the infamous Sterling Falls bedazzled in the morning sun. We spent three hours in Milford Sound and around 10:00 departed to the south towards Dusky sound.

Milford Sound New Zealand - 10

Sterling Falls.

Dusky Sound New Zealand - 4

Dusky Sound

Dusky Sound New Zealand - 2

Stunning afternoon in Fiordland

At 16:00 we entered Dusky sound. I must confess that I prefer Dusky sound. We entered at the north end of the Achenon passage near Breaksea Island and spent another 3 hours inside the sound passing down the east side of Resolution Island.

It was another time for superlatives. You just have to experience this. Our guests crowded deck 6 forward and 10 deck forward to get the best views. Cameras clicked and videos whirred. Even cumbersome iPads were raised to get snapshots.

Now as I write we are on our way to Oban on Stewart Island which lies off the southern tip of the South Island of New Zealand.

Todays crew member on show is our Security Officer Mark Neale.


Security Officer Mark Neale.

Here is what he wrote about himself.

Joining the West Midlands Police Force at the tender age of 16 as a cadet, I was quickly nicknamed and welcomed in to the “Bobby Family”.

Initial intense education in life skills, public assistance and public morals at such a young age was a welcome change to school life.

Additional qualifications in life saving, mountain rescue and self-survival techniques, intense physical training with local army corps, (As a West Midlands Police “Triathlon for charity” competitor) together with a Diploma in Business and Finance, Computer Studies and Social Studies formed a solid six pack along with a fit and mental foundation of youth and young adult experience. Training in psychology and profiling helped me pick friends that would buy my beers in the pub but a sudden realization that I had a low tolerance to alcohol sort of put paid to that (Karma they say).

This led to formal training as a Police Officer where I spent assignments within differing local divisions, Mounted Divisions (Horses), Antecedents Departments (Crown Courts) and Criminal Intelligence and Anti-Terrorist Units.

On leaving the force, I exchanged my law management for aviation security management where I utilized anti-terrorism and explosives experience to assist and train aviation security personnel whilst commandeering security projects and upgrades throughout the organisation and aviation industry. As a Department for Transport qualified inspector and bomb risk assessor, I was assigned to aviation inspection management and bomb risk / crisis management and again, after 9/11, was given the opportunity to re-attach to the anti-terrorist unit.

During this period, I met with my gorgeous wife who I now look forward to seeing along with my 3 beautiful daughters who make me proud every day. As part of a close family, spending periods away from home is difficult, hence, I have come to appreciate the commitment of those working at sea as a necessity to support their families.

During a security career spanning 21 years acquiring land based and aviation based knowledge, I decided it was time to attempt to seek out my sea legs (To complete my air, land and sea triangle of achievements). This was done with a smooth transition as I am yet to experience sea sickness… though now I’ve said that………Ooooooooooh…

Having now worked in the maritime security industry at sea for approximately 8.5 years (8 of those with Seabourn Cruise Line) in addition to the 21 years in law enforcement and security industry ashore, it has helped me appreciate that there is no difference between providing protection ashore, in the air or on the high seas, however, I will always say to those that listen…..“Security is only as good as you make it”.

Mark Dexter 2015