Had a great weekend in Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound. Spent the day Saturday on a kayak. The water was clear, the mountains lifted straight up out of the water and the greenery hung over us giving a surreal atmosphere. It had rained for several days before so the waterfalls were dripping out of the hills….beautiful. The down side was that an small plane airfield went straight over the middle of the Sound and the noise was extremely loud as it echoed off of the walls. Luckily this only lasted for about an hour, then things seemed to die down and the quiet of the day returned. The water was quite placid, no one tipped their kayaks over. The greatest threats were the wakes of the larger boats as they passed.
Inside Milford Sound, the young male fur seals live until they are old enough to go out and challenge the elders for their place among the females. We came across several sunning themselves on the rocks, not bothered the least by our presence. As we were kayaking along we came across one young fellow who had an extremely long fish (we think a mackerel) and was playing with it. The fish was still alive (at this point) and would try to swim away from him but he’d grab it, throw it up into the air and swim after it. The poor thing (fish) finally was eaten, bit by bit, while the seal gave us quite a show. We got most of it on film so once we get some down time we will edit it and post it somewhere so everyone can watch. We haven’t seen the film yet…hoping it is good…but I don’t know how much of the seal I got as he was moving around all over the water.
We stopped for lunch, got eaten by sand-flies, and got back on the water for a few more hours. Our next bit of excitement was to watch a penguin (yellow around the eyes) give himself/herself a bath while laying on the water. It was very cute, got a few snapshots.
Sunday we took a boat trip to Doubtful Sound. It was very pretty, much like Milford Sound, only bigger. The Captain took us all the way out into the mouth of the opening and back…very quiet, no other traffic. We could have probably just done one of the Sounds, as they were very similar but it was nice to relax and have no pressures of driving etc. (We learned that a sound is created by action of a river, usually a flooded river valley, and a fjord is created by the action of a glacier. Doubtful Sound and Milford Sound are actually fjords, but they were named sounds by the early European explorers and the names have stuck.)
Dinner, both nights, was uneventful and tasteless. We went to the most recommended restaurant the first night, paid a buttload of money and were extremely disappointed with the meal. The bread and dip appetizer was the best thing there. Last night we thought we’d go “ethnic” and did Chinese, pretty bland but we did get to eat with chopsticks and that was entertaining! We ordered spring rolls and fried wontons for starters and they were all over the table by the time we were finished. I guess we both need practice, so we when we get to Polk Street we plan on everyone using only chopsticks…don’t worry…we’ll bring ‘em!