At deep Cove we boarded the Fiordland Navigator a 38 metre long schooner that can sleep 70. Normally this vessel does the overnight cruise but as the day trip vessel was off having it's annual overhaul we lucky ones got to go on the big vessel! I have certainly never been further West anywhere in NZ ( would be near impossible to go further )
It is 40 kms from Deep Cove out to the entrance to the ocean, ( this is visible in one photo - the gap on the horizon ) making it the 2nd largest Fiord. It is part of Fiordland National Park and a World Heritage Area. We also explored the coves and arms of the Fiord. ( it was wrongly named a Sound in the first place ) It is one of the wettest places in the World! Moist air streams come across the South Tasman Sea. Deep Cove has a mean average rainfall of 5,290 millimetres. It had rained 48 hours before we were there so there were waterfalls just everywhere. The most spectacular one being Lady Alice Falls. The Captain did his party trick of nudging the front of the vessel right up to the base of the falls; the fiord is SO DEEP and SO STRAIGHT DOWN having been ground out by glaciers about 2 million years ago.
I spent my time with the camera of course ( not as trigger happy as one lovely Japanese lady - she had to take every waterfall ) and eating my yummy packed lunch ( could have had hot soup too if I'd had room ) and talking with the others and generally being overawed by the sheer majesty and slpendour of this probably once in a life time expereince.
The next post will be about the final 2 parts of this big day out.