Trans Tasman.


Rainbow in the spray.

As I write we are in the Tasman Sea heading for Melbourne at position 40º 50’S, 162º 10’E. That puts us about 670 miles from Milford Sound in New Zealand and 850 miles from Melbourne. The Tasman is not being as kind as it could be to us due to two areas of low pressure creating some swells and wind causing us to move about a bit.

Since I last wrote we have visited Akaroa, Port Chalmers which is the port for Dunedin, Stewart Island again and Milford Sound.


Annie and Rex. 2 very good friends.

Akaroa this time was not as windy and grey as our last visit but it was still chilly. The harbourmaster greeted me by saying that we should have been there yesterday as it was hot and sunny unlike today. Not helpful. I had some friends come to see me. Annie and Rex are good friends that we met in New Zealand and Annie is like a second mother to us.


Tiaaroa Head bird colony.

Next we went to Port Chalmers. The port lies inside Otago bay some 9 miles from the sea. At the entrance to the port lies Taiaroa Head. This peninsular is a protected bird colony and is home to countless cormorants and Albatrosses. Port Chalmers for me holds many great memories. My wife and I BC (before children) came here on container ships together. The pilot came up the ladder at the harbour entrance. I said to him that it was so chilly and overcast. “You should have been here yesterday” he said. I glowered at him. A Scottish bagpipe band piped us away from the quay. Dunedin is about as Scottish as you can get outside of Scotland itself complete with a statue of Robert Burns the poet in the town centre.


Golden Bay, Stewart Island.

From here we headed further south to anchor off Oban, Stewart Island. It was cooler and cloudier here as well than last time. Although this is summer these imbedded lows travelling across from Tasmania do lower the temperatures somewhat.

We then headed to Fiordland. At midnight we had to turn back as a sick person onboard needed to be helicoptered off the ship. This meant we could only make Milford Sound. I had to miss out Dusky Sound to make up the lost time.


Milford Sound on a blustery Thursday.

We arrived at Milford Sound on a blustery afternoon. It did not take away from the magnificent scenery. Our Fiordland pilot, Captain David Edge, piloted us safely into and out of the Milford Sound.


Captain David Edge, our fjord land pilot.

We bid him farewell as he disembarked into the pilot launch as we exited and we are now crossing the Tasman to Australia.

To complete todays entry I would like to introduce you to our Personnel and Training Manager Jack Rebours.


Jack Rebours. Personnel and Training Manager.

This is what he had to say about himself.

I am from Brittany in France and lived in London for 24 years. I have just moved to Cowes on the Isle of Wight in Southern England and really enjoy to be there by the sea, it is a special place.

I have been at sea for 7 years and joined Seabourn 2,5 years ago – definitely my best professional move as I love the brand and I am so proud of the level of service provided to our guests.

 As Personnel & Training Manager,  some of my duties are to support and train newly hired crew members for the Hotel Department: I help them adapt to life at sea as the first 2 weeks are so overwhelming in terms of learning the massive amount of information relating to the ship environment, all the safety, security and environmental regulations, understanding what Seabourn is all about, our behavioural standards, who are our guests and their expectations.  It is a very fulfilling to observe crew members’ progress over the weeks and when they share their strong sense of achievement at the end of their first contract.

 I also deliver management and leadership programs in order to support our supervisors and managers in all departments to create the best conditions for our crew members to thrive and to be engaged.

 Whenever I host a table, I am always very pleased to hear the stories that our guests have relating to our crew members and how they managed to surprise them, praising not only their professionalism but particularly their warm, caring and genuine approach that defines the Seabourn touch. Because of my title, guests often assume that they accepted a dinner invitation from the fitness instructor …..until they meet me in person…..

 PS – to my mother, who is an avid reader of this blog – voila maman, le Capitaine a pris en compte ta requête! A très bientôt, Jx

 © Mark Dexter 2015