Today we were catching a Fiordland Cruises boat on Doubtful Sound for an overnight cruise. To get there we had to catch a bus from Te Anau to Pearl Harbour, Lake Manapouri then a boat to West Arm, Lake Manapouri, then collect the Fiordland Cruise bus to get to Deep Cove, Doubtful Sound. Here’s a map. And here’s a log of where we went.
We were up for a 9am collection by TrackNet bus and caught the 10:10am Real Journeys boat at Pearl Harbour. It was a low cloud, drizzly day. We had been told the cruise is as good in the rain as in the sun due to the number and size of waterfalls, and it was true. The pictures don’t generally do the waterfalls justice.
Our bus driver had told us the small ‘lump’ near the middle of the picture us an extinct volcano which has been worn away by glaciers but the middle part was very hard which is why it is still standing.
We came across a couple with bad manners who pretty much pushed Noel out of the way for a seat on a bench which I was sitting on. I think the wife was embarrassed but the man wasn’t. So, being English and not wanting to create a scene, instead I waited a short while then said to Noel in a loud enough conversational voice that I was very glad I was over that really contagious sickness bug I had last night. 😀
The hunter-gatherer returns.
All those white areas are waterfalls.
Lots of waterfalls.
Part of the Manapouri Hydroelectric Power Station.
We were met off the Lake Manapouri boat by John, our Doubtful sound boat skipper who drove us to Deep Cove. On the way he showed us a few sights but it was raining and cloudy so it was hard to see some things. Here’s where the water comes out from second, newer tailrace tunnel for the hydroelectric power generation. This 1967 Construction Brochure is very interesting.
We embarked on Southern Secret and met Freya who was crew and cook and did a very good job. Here’s the view at the start with a large waterfall.
Another boat moored up.
Note the waterfall in the background.
It was beautiful but wet and cold!
Shortly after we got underway we were given lunch – crayfish. 🙂
Raining up ahead. Again!
Sometimes it looked like it was clearing up, only for it to get worse again.
Noel’s happy! 🙂
About this time we had a freshly baked Apple and Cinnamon muffin. 🙂
Crayfish pots were picked up ready for the next guests’ lunch. John and Freya.
Hauling up the second pot. There were two crayfish in there and a third skeleton, which had probably been eaten by an Octopus. One of the crayfish was too small though so it had to be thrown back.
Then it was cheeseboard time(!) and then time for fishing.
He’s onto something…! 🙂
Et voila – Blue Cod!
We had some entertainment – this looked exactly like a seal until we looked closer.
And another – this time a Perch.
And another – of all the people on the boat Noel must have spent the most time praying to the god of fishing as he caught way more than everyone else! 🙂
Clearing up a bit.
After the fishing we went inside to dry off and get warm. After chatting with other people we were parked up and dinner was ready. We started off with sashimi from the Jock Stewarts and battered Blue Cod pieces we had caught followed by roast lamb, roast chicken, roast vegs, vegs and some salads. For dessert we had a homemade concoction made from Kiwifruit, jelly and meringue with cream and ice cream – delicious! We were all amazed that Freya had done all that cooking while helping with cray-fishing and rod fishing. It was delicious. As we ate it finally got dark so after dinner I went outside – there were some stars visible and the mountain outlines could just be seen if your eyes were used to the dark, but the milky way wasn’t visible – too many clouds. And it was too cold to stay outside too long.