The Sounds

Dusky Sound - 01

Approaching Dusky Sound at sunrise

On a calm morning we approached Dusky Sound. The sun rose behind the ragged peaks of the Southern Alps. The colours of the sky and clouds changed by the minute. A long rolling swell ran up from the deep south. It was a perfect morning.

At 7:30 we passed the first outlying islands and entered the Sound.

Dusky Sound - 03

The entrance to Dusky Sound on the port bow.

By breakfast time we were entering Acheron Passage.We slowed down to savour the moment and absorb the surroundings. Lofty peaks covered in dense vegetation rose from sea level on either side to dwarf us as we passed by. Those same peaks were reflected on the smooth water surface. Every change of course produced another stunning vista. I have been through here many times and I see something different each time. Captain Cook sailed here. I wonder what he thought of all this.

Dusky Sound - 08

Entering the Acheron Passage.

Dusky Sound - 11

Acheron Passage

We left the sound passing Breaksea Island at 0945 and headed up the coast. We maintained a distance of 2 to 3 miles off. This was far enough out to appreciate the views unfolding before us and close enough to view the geology and wildlife from our cabin windows.

Dusky Sound - 14

The view from my cabin window as we head north to Milford Sound. Not too shabby at all.

We are headed for Milford Sound.The Tasman Sea is as flat as I have seen it in a long long time.

At 16:00 we entered Milford Sound. The wind picked up as the sea air was sucked in through the narrow entrance caused by the heat of the sun on the peaks. The hot air rises sucking the sea air in which is cooler. It got to 25 knots in places and was a little chilly. We are now back on the Tasman Sea heading on a course of 290 T direct for the Bass Straits that lie between Australia and Tasmania. The sea is calm. There is no wind to speak off. It is the perfect end to a perfect day. Actually the French themed dinner in the Colonnade Restaurant tonight after a British themed lunch is the perfect end.

I will leave you with a few photos of Milford Sound.

Milford Sound - 02

Approaching Milford Sound entrance on a perfect afternoon. The first guests select their vantage points.

Milford Sound - 03

The first view into the Sound stops you in your tracks. 6 deck forward is busy.

Milford Sound - 08

Having reached the end we turned the ship 180. This is looking back the way we came into the evening sun.

Milford Sound - 11

Myself, Captain Craig Holmes, our pilot and Captain Cees Buckens who was doing Craig's annual proficiency check.

Milford Sound - 09

The Sterling falls and a turquoise sea. A small tourist boat heads home.

Mark Dexter 2015