When Captain Cook entered this area in 1770 he was doubtful that he could find his way out. This morning we were doubtful if we had enough layers to keep us warm; there was even frost on our windshield. Summer in NZ!
But off we went to meet our Real Journeys adventure which consisted of 3 parts: a boat ride across Lake Manapouri (with its 33 islands), a coach ride through the rain forest (with magnificent fern palms) and finally, 3 hours on Doubtful Sound, which is actually a fjord.
Breathtaking, awe-inspiring, and educational. . .great words to describe the experience. The skippers of the Patea Explorer choose the route daily, depending on weather and water conditions. Today was calm with no rain, a rare occurrence since the fjord averages 200 days of rain/year and after 2 days of no rain, it’s drought conditions here!
We learned a bit of geology along the way. A “hanging valley” formation indicates that the glacier moved away more quickly. Like this one:
A scooped out valley indicates that the glacier moved more slowly beforegoing out to sea. (Good info to know as more of our glaciers melt). So there was more than one ice age here.
Here’s the example:
Wildlife sightings of the day were mainly fur seals lazing about on rocks which were at the mouth of the Tasman Sea.
At one point the skipper turned off the engines, the galley was quiet, and we were invited to stop talking and experience the sound of the sound; that is, silence. Glorious.
Never doubting Mother Nature, we returned to the dock with blue skies, sun, and warmth. We shed our outer two layers, came back to the Manapouri Motor Lodge (where Marty and Cat ate 7 years ago!!) , passed sunbathers on the beach, and are ready for more SUMMER in NZ.
A beautiful excursion today!