Monday, 11 January 2016

From on board: Silversea in New Zealand

#expeditioncruising


Return to Dusky

Following a safe anchorage in Dusky Sound at the strangely named Poison Bay, we greeted the new day with a smile; the sun was out and the winds calm

Freshly brewed coffee is brought to our stateroom by our wonderful butler, Romeo. Hang on, a butler on an expedition cruise! Silversea has a well proven policy that the comfort of the passenger is their primary concern, and as with their other ships, passengers expect to be well looked after

After a delicious breakfast, we head for the Tasman Sea once more and head north towards Milford Sound, a few kms away

Piopiotahi (Milford Sound) is a Marine Reserve and a WahipounmuWorld Heritage site. Often acclaimed as New Zealand's most popular tourist destination. In fact Rudyard Kipling called it the eighth Wonder of the World

Although well known to the Maori, European's, including Captain Cook sailed past the entrance, not realising what it opened out to once inside the headlands. Then in 1812 Captain John Grono sailed in. He initially named it Milford Haven after his Welsh homeland.

The Zodiac's are launched and join the other tourist boats enjoying the wonderful sights. The two permanent water falls, Lady Bowen and Sterling attract the boats, who gently make their way into the cascading falls, a long time local tourist tradition

The long range weather forcast was for the Low to continue moving west and the following High to take over, so we head back out and set sail southwards to Stewart Island before the Holy Grail of expeditioners, Macquarie Island

But Neptune has other plans for us and the swells start to build up after we retire for the night. In the wee small hours he lets us have it with 8 metre waves that cause a it of fun and games for a few hours. When things calm down a bit, we were able to continue our sleep and when we awoke, we were moored in a calm bay. We were back in Dusky Sound. Go on Neptune, give it your best shot, but you won't beat Silver Discoverer and its first rate crew.

As first time sailors for these conditions, it was amazing to go to breakfast and talk with the other passengers who had all been on many other expedition cruises. They were bubbling with excitment, obviously it isn't an expedition unless you get a few challenges

We are now waiting for the meterology report for the next few days to learn where we might be going.

Such is the life of an expeditioner

Michael Osborne, really enjoying the experience of a Silversea Expeditions Cruise, somewhere just to the south of New Zealand. More in the next few days.