so after crossing lake manapouri, i'm finally at the inlet to doubtful sound and ready to head out. i still have no idea how checking out a place like this will help me get rid of these ancient baskets ms. rhonwyn wants me to get rid of...
here i am though, getting on board the second boat for today... so i'm definitely not complaining!
i couldn't wait to head out, as everything leading up to here had been very prehistoric looking. i had to curve my enthusiasm a bit as we waited for everyone to board the boat.
which suited me just fine it let me stake out a great spot on the roof. i'm really liking these boats that you can sit and hangout on top of them.
oh man the harbour alone is amazing! the forest around here could so easily plug into the cretaceous unnoticed (well okay minus the flowering plants).
interrupting my admiring the forest the boat departed for the sound. oh man i was excited!
within minutes we entered the main passage of the sound, and man oh man. doubtful sound is HUGE!!!
immediately i was struck by how awe inspiring this place was. the rugged forests on top of majestic mountains carpeted in clouds and fog...
one of the first major landmarks we passed was my favorite (even after seeing the rest of the sound). a really cool glacially carved valley between two mountains...
in my peanut sized imagination (which i've been told is actually quite big for my brain size especially compared to my intelligence) i could picture this as the entrance to the REAL lost world...
we dinosaurs alive today cling to a belief that somewhere on earth still today is a land still populated by our own kind. far fetched i'll admit, but no more silly than some stuff i've heard humans believe in. a person coming back from the dead a good thing!?! sorry but having seen a ghost recently in a graveyard, i can safely say zombies would be ever more terrifying thank you very much!
back to my fav valley though. doesn't it just scream "beyond the veil of mist lies the remnants of the mesozoic..."
if not for the fact i'm sure they would have made a fuss, and that i have a job to do. i probably would have jumped over board and swam there to explore. fortunately i decided ruining all the other visitors trip, getting wet, and ms. rhonwyn getting furious at me for drawing attention to myself wasn't worth it...
just barely though ;p
again the sound is just massive! these photos don't do it justice to be honest... imagine the scale your seeing in this photo around you 360 degrees! MASSIVE!
kinda like my buddy strong man... oh yeah. he hasn't made it to my blog really. what with his being from the pre blog tyrrell days...
as we cruised along, and we were booking it as otherwise you would take days to see the sound, we drew closer to many of the islands that sprinkled the sound in between the mountains that jetted out of the water.
i took one last look at my fav valley as it disappeared from view behind an island.
almost as though the universe sensed my sadness of the valley disappearing it started to rain. forcing me to leave the roof of the boat.
fortunately this was a way bigger boat than the one on lake manapouri. it had three outdoor decks two of which were covered. so i took up a spot on the mid-deck which was pretty awesome in its own right. my only complaint was it only faced the rear of the boat.
was a very patriotic spot too. though i seem to recall the new zealand flag being blue... since when was it red?
to be fair they could have had a salad bar right here, and the view would have still made this place one of the best to be in the whole country (oh year... i guess my human readers like salad. well look at my teeth and you'd see why i'd find such a thing a detractor normal).
again with this in front of me i could easily handle a salad bar behind me. man even 10 of them. probably even a ghost... well so long as it didn't float over to block my view anyway.
again massive. this photo anywhere you turned to look... well okay except front ways there'd be the boat...
the fog adding all the more wonder and mystery!
one of the perks of being on the back of the boat i guess was seeing just how fast we were going. these were some pretty powerful engines. just look at how much spray they were making.
the reason for our hast. the sound is kilometres and kilometres long (i forget exactly how long. the tour guide did say, but i missed it) so if we were to check it out end to end we needed to move.
finally we made it too the end. the weather was a lot worse out here, but still it was really grand to look back and see the vastness we'd just travelled!
then off in the distance i spotted something in the water. well okay 3 somethings to be precise.
at first they looked like ducks. or some sort of "boring sea bird".
as we got closer i was shocked to discover they were fiordland penguins!!! i had NO idea penguins came to the surface with their necks craned up like that. it totally makes them look like a duck at a distance!
at the very mouth of sound into the tasman sea there was a ton of fur seals (just like the ones i lived with at pilot's beach). most of the other visitors were really excited by these. having lived with the ones in dunedin i wasn't blown away. they are still cool don't get me wrong. i'd just rather see something i haven't seen before is all...
speaking of thing people haven't seen before, a young couple from japan were really primed when they came across me on the boat.
it was just a refreshing encounter. these two were ubber excited to meet me, and were thrilled when i posed with them for a photo. what can i say, i'm big in japan... ah man i've been waiting years to say that hahahaha
after all the negative press i'd been getting due to my cousin larry's visit people have been hesitiant to hostile around me lately. these two's reaction takes me back to drumheller where people are excited to see dinosaurs...
well as we'd made it to the end of the sound that meant it was time to head back home. not that, that meant we had to take the direct route mind you. in fact these guys specialize in taking the scenic route.
i endorse their navigation style!
i took a quick wander to the bottom deck on which you could walk the entire length of the boat.
while on the side i spotted a sweet as water fall.
the rain had died to a spit, so i risked wandering onto the bow.
a few minutes later due to the improved weather the captain decided he was going to bring the boat in closer to the shore so we could get a real up close look at the vegetation.
glad i'd staked out a spot. next thing you knew everyone else emerged on the bow fighting for a railing front seat (er stand?).
as we drew closer i got a first hand encounter with a pōhutukawa aka new zealand x mas tree. the red flowers on it were very pretty. the only bad news is their under threat due to being the favourite food of the introduced pest brushtail possums.the good weather didn't hold out sadly, and i was forced to retreat back to the mid-deck.
not that it diminished the sound at all...
the captain brought us in for another close look. this time the rocks of the mountains of the sound.
very nice volcanic rocks... as nice as volcanic rocks can be anyway...
we were closing to the end. when i caught sight of my favourite valley again... oh man i was almost done this trip... it'd be so easy to jump over board and swim to it...
of course i stuck through the urge, and was rewarded by one last view of the massiveness that is doubtful sound.
yet i still hadn't gotten rid of a single one of these baskets. i should really figure out what the deal with them is here...
to be continued...