Day 31 – 4th February 2020, Scenic Cruising

Clearing Doubtful Sound

Bye Bye New Zealand

This brings an end to an exceptional 8 days in New Zealand, one of my favourite countries in the world. After spending 2 months on the NZ Coast, on my first rip to sea, I could easily have moved here, had I not gone to Canada. The climate is great, scenery tremendous and the people are simply magnificent.

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, as we continue this great adventure, pounding across the Tasman Sea, bound for Australia.

Temperature: 16C/61F

Wind/Weather: Fresh W’ly about 25 kts in AM. Gale to storm force early afternoon

Sunrise/Sunset: 06:52/21:16

Clox: No change (Z+13)

Navigation

Throughout the night Viking Sun steamed around the bottom of the South Island, arriving at Dusky Sound for Scenic cruising about 09:00, which was about 90 mins ahead of schedule. Clearing Dusky Sound, course was set for Doubtful Sound, where we arrived about 11:30. Milbank Sound was closed due to rock slides, so on departure Doubtful Sound we set course for Tasmania.

Weather

Generally overcast, with rain showers, heavy at times. Early afternoon, with an approaching front, the winds picked up to gale to storm force 40 to 45 kts, easing to about 35 kts in the evening. A good swell has the ship rocking, rolling and slamming into the occasional wave.

Meals

Today’s special meals:

  • Pool Area (11:30 to 14:00) – Caesar Salad Station

For dinner we headed to the MDR, sitting at table 151 with 2 other couples – Dave & Diane, who we have dined with a few times and enjoyed their company on a private tour, and Jim & Randy, fellow Canadians from Calgary. I had an excellent scallops pie, while Judi enjoyed a perfectly cooked steak. Unfortunately, I forgot the camera again, so no photos.

Activities

Having tweaked a ligament in my knee yesterday, the boss dictated no walking and no stairs. OMG!! I’ve never used lifts so much on a cruise ship.

After a busy string of port days, Judi had her sleep in, so I headed down to the MDR for breakfast. The World Cafe is OK, but at times the meals could be way hotter. I ordered an omelet and OMG, it arrived piping hot, with lots of shrimp and smoked salmon.

We received an announcement from Bevan advising that scenic cruising was running early, as we were approaching the first of 3 Sounds – Dusky Sound. I ran up to Explorer’s Dk 8, scoring one of the couches. Not much to see at first, due to low overcast shrouding the mountains.

Little ways inside Dusky Sound the low clouds dissipated

Low overcast dissipated as we approached the first turn into Acheron Passage

Checking the wake as we alter into Acheron Passage

Looking astern during the turn into Acheron Passage

Navigating Acheron Passage

Navigating along Acheron Passage

Acheron Passage waterfall

One of the waterfalls

Acheron Passage navigation

Navigating Acheron Passage

Approaching turn into Breaksea Passage

Acheron Passage view astern

Looking astern making turn into Breaksea Passage

Making the turn into Breaksea Passage, heading for open sea

Entering Breaksee Passage bound for open sea

Heading out to sea after the first scenic cruising

At Noon we had daily trivia after the Captain’s announcement. Having won 2 in a row and been champions for over a week, the pressure is rising to remain on top. We scored a very respectable 11/15, tying with 1 other team. For the tie-breaker we both went over, we we remain as champions for 3 in a row.

During trivia, we entered Doubtful Sound, so on completion of trivia, we headed to the MDR for lunch, and to watch the scenic cruising. Returned to the cabin, just as we cleared the sound.

Clearing Doubtful Sound

The final sighting of New Zealand

We were also meant to cruise Milford Sound, but heavy rains have caused an extensive rock slide, resulting in the Harbour Master closing access to cruise ships. Therefore, on clearing Doubtful Sound, we set a course across the Tasman towards Hobart, Tasmania.

Seas while crossing Tasman

Winds of 40 to 45 kts

Coupled with the swell, we experienced a few lumps, with the ship a rockin’ and rollin’, and slamming into the occasional wave. A rather lively sailing.

Entertainment

We attended the evening show with Thomas Armstrong Robley singing songs from Frank Sinatra and Frankie Valli. With the additional movement in the Theatre, Judi was done for the night, so we retired for the evening.

As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.

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