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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cruising Doubtful Sound

We sailed out of Deep Cove towards the Tasman Sea & through Doubtful Sound. The trip was nothing short of spectacular and amazing and stunning.

There were so many little twists and turns where the water seemed to end at the mountains, but yet it still keep going back around another bend. The frequently clouds cloaked the tops of the mountains & only added to the surreal aura of the sound.

It was neat to watch a waterfall weave in and out of the forest canopy.

Glaciers often form these hanging valleys when they move through the rocks.

We spent the first few hours out on the front deck- it was cold & windy, and occasionally rainy.

The naturalist on the boat was wonderful to listen to- we learned so much about the ecosystem & the amazing feats these plants and trees display hanging to sheer rock walls.

The fiordland is really all about waterfalls and rain. If I had to guess- I'd say we saw well over 1,000 waterfalls in Doubtful and Milford Sounds.

Something about being on a boat is so calming & relaxing- watching the scenery putt by & seeing what new stellar sight will be around the next corner. We'd hang out on the deck for a while, then go inside to warm up and dry off for a few minutes.

I was in awe of these trees that managed to climb just a bit higher than all the rest & stand out along the ridge line.

Real Journey's also runs a shorter day trip & that boat passed us up early in the afternoon.

Clouds came & went throughout the afternoon adding an eerie atmosphere to the area.

We cruised out to the Tasman Sea & into the open waters where the tide was out & we could see lots of dangerous rocks.

Nice seaweed, eh?

There's actually a rare penguin in the photo if you look closely for a black blob.

Out on the edge of The Tasman Sea, the waves crashing in the rocks added a melodic rhythm to air.

There were a few other boats out there looking for wildlife and checking out the coastline.

There was a very large colony of seals that were living on the rock outcroppings.

The government is trying really hard to reclaim as much native land area as possible and rid it all of pests to protect the natural environment. Rats are the biggest pest, but some of these islands in the fiordland are large, safe pest-free spaces.

The fur seals were to cool to watch waddling around & climbing out of the water on the rocks.

There were many areas of vegetation avalanches. Where some of the trees & moss would get too saturated to cling to the steep hillside & would come crashing down- taking out all the plants below it.

I've got a whole post coming up about waterfalls, but I thought I'd share this video. It's really hard to explain the awesomeness of being surrounded by waterfalls- everywhere you look, big & small, tall & short, wide, steep. Just like rivers- they are so memorizing to watch.

GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Headed up to Washington State today for 4 nights- can't wait to get out of this heat.

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