Sunday, March 8, 2009

Moods of Fiordland

Following last week's popular blog on landscape photography in Dusky and Doubtful Sounds, this week's theme is on the moods that are unique to Fiordland. Again taken in 2005 in July, and featuring Doubtful Sound on our way back from Dusky with our friends Arthur and Barbara on board their Elwing. A special voyage for us all as it was Elwing's first wanderings in these waters - how very special to do it in the company of friends!

It's not well known that there is much circumstantial evidence that suggests the Spaniards landed in New Zealand just near here on Bauza Island probably before Capt. Cook...

As I've been compiling this post I've been struck by how these images have been waiting for "their time", and how Fiordland has come into my awareness so much of late that I'm compelled to bring them into the light along with the story. I wonder why!?

Heading up Crooked Arm intending to tramp across to Dagg Sound we encountered ice and it was rather scary at this point [note tenseness in crew's posture] due to the noise..

So we hove-to deciding to assess [and photograph] the situation...

The assessment took the form of scooting around Elwing in the inflatable examining the hull and ice thickness. Personally I found it very lonely amongst the ice in such a small craft, but it was good for photography...


Back on-board again we motored up the Arm a bit further following a steel hulled craft that happened along, as Elwing's glass-over-Kauri hull was getting damaged right on the nose of the bow...

This is the point at which we hove-to again. The ice was 3-4 inches thick here and our ice-breaker had to give up. It was so cold our "lead" was freezing over, but the noise of the ice echoing off the cliffs and the situation was so unique and spectacular we had a cuppa before retreating...

After getting a dose of sun out in the openness of Doubtful, we next headed up Hall Arm for the night following a fishing boat out of Bluff...

After many days of aloneness in the sounds it felt quite strange to have company anchored nearby for the night, and it struck me most during my usual nocturnal visit to the deck in the early hours - seeing a light across the water on a canvas of precipitous mountain walls of 1500 meters with their feet in the water just by us, seemed surreal to say the least...

During the night it started raining softly and of course then, in typical Fiordland fashion, the waterfalls festooned the mountain sides...

One of our crew, Colin, was keen to get a deer, so while we went ashore at an interesting spot where a creek offered easy egress upwards aways, he prowled this area. Here Arthur is coming back from picking him up [empty handed]...

To be raining has to be the natural state of Fiordland, and I find it so beautiful even when I'm soaked, so with Elwing's warm and dry cabin nearby it was far from onerous to stay on-deck for hours to make these landscape shots...

Heading towards Elizabeth Island...

For me this view epitomises Fiordland - moodiness and mystery abound...

Right on evening/dusk the light went to some unusual colours...

Sadly the following day the trip was over, and here is Dougal eyeing up the jetty in Deep Cove where we caught the daily tourist bus back to Lake Manapouri [Maori for Lake of the Sorrowing Heart - so apt!]. Here we said good bye to Arthur, who sailed solo back to Stewart Island a few days later after spending a few days in Dusky again...

There are still more images and stories related to this adventure, but it's been a long week underscored by this long post, so until next time. In the meantime with the week having brought me many coincidences and serendipity, my note to self and others is: stay grounded, protect ourselves from situations and people that drain us and immerse in the practical tasks of life with always an eye for the tendency of situations to guide us. Bring all into our awareness for our own sakes and in the service of others.

**Blog of the week [a new feature - each week I'll endeavour to include a link to something I've found inspiring or enjoyable]: Bob McKerrow's post on 40,000 houses built by the Red Cross in Aceh Indonesia

Gentle breathing all :)

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Blogger Ruahines said...

Kia ora Donald,
Wow, this just keeps getting better. Really a great discovery here, and your words and photos really leave me pondering the beauty of this land. I think sometimes these photos and thoughts must lie dormant within us for awhile, and emerge when they are ready. Have a great day.

March 8, 2009 at 4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post D! Those images and the mood is stunning. I am just writing tasks to accomplish before winter and one of them is getting out and about with the camera. SO many people moaning at me to carry on with the valupak blog - odd really - must have a hit a nerve or two. Later. G

March 8, 2009 at 8:04 PM  

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