adventures abroad, photography, travel

Scenic Cruising

There are no ports of call for the day; we are scenic cruising through Fiordlands National Park. This means that overnight we swung out into rougher seas (made worse by rough weather) to reach the entrance to Dusky Sound (which is actually a fjord). 

Before we get there, I run into Lillian, from the first night on the ship. She is out on the open part of Deck 12, under the overhang against the wet weather, but in the fresh air. She does not look well.

I feel for her. I’ve sailed from NJ to Bermuda; the Atlantic made me feel the same way. Yuck.

For the most part, however, I am unaffected. (In the night, the rough seas woke me, and as it worsened I had to find the right position to lie in so that I didn’t find myself trying to “fight” the waves (a losing battle if ever there was one)). I also swap out my “dry” sea-bands for a pair I don’t mind getting wet, so I can have them on even in the shower. So I pretty much only really feel it, and feel it in a bad way, in the morning as I make my way up the 7 floors to breakfast (and the topmost, vertical-movingest part of the ship) but even then once I eat, I resettle.

There are actually moments when the ship causes the kind of flip-flop in my stomach that a roller-coaster would, and I find myself laughing and smiling. (Though I will find myself much more tired, much earlier, in these seas.)

That I am feeling this well is a miracle, a blessing. I am unspeakably thankful. I know back at home, my friends are remembering me in their prayers, as I am remembering Lillian and the others who aren’t doing well this morning.

Once we turn into Dusky Sound, we’re in smoother, protected waters. It’s still cold and wet on deck – visibility poor for “scenic” cruising, but it’s still lovely, when we can make it out.

photo: aka gringita, 2014

I alternate between being outside for photos and being inside for warmth.

When we sail out of this set of fjords toward Doubtful sound, I roam the ship, surprisingly bored considering how much “stuff” is ostensibly to do. Finally I find a quiet spot to relax, read, rest for a while. Along the way, there are an awful lot of crew members geared up for cleaning, compared to other days. It keeps both Lillian and all the others on board who are not enjoying sailing on my mind and in my prayers.

Doubtful Sound is supposed to be absolutely breathtaking, but the next announcement is that because of the weather and rough seas, it isn’t safe for us to try to make the sharp turn into that set of fjords. We’ll sail on, to Milford Sound.

When we get there, it’s still too rainy to get many sharp, striking pictures, but there are an amazing number of waterfalls.

Milford Sound (photo: aka gringita, 2014)
Milford Sound (photo: aka gringita, 2014)
Milford Sound (photo: aka gringita, 2014)
Milford Sound (photo: aka gringita, 2014)

I also run into Alan again, to reconfirm that I will join him for the Captain’s lunch, and we chit-chat for a while before going our separate ways — him to the upper deck, me to the warmth of indoors for a bit.

A few more turns outside, and then the ship prepares to leave Milford Sound and begin our crossing of the notoriously rough Tasman Sea. Dinner, more awkwardness that I have to shut down with Steve, a musical review afterward, and then an early night rocked by 12 meter swells. The motion of the ocean, indeed.

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