Yesterday, 13 April, had a cold start, even with a frost here in England, followed by a sunny day. About the only thing the day had in common with the same day last year, when Joe and Freya went on the Doubtful Sound cruise. We have been re-living our trip round New Zealand of course, as you do. The whole journey was blessed with luck… everyone being able to get time off, the way the itinerary worked with most days going to plan, and the weather, which can ruin some days, especially in New Zealand with its high rainfall in places. Never luckier than the Sound cruises. On this day last year, a beautiful, sunny day, we took the Milford Sound cruise.
In 2004, the weather was about as wet and murky as it can get here.
Excerpt from Middle England to Middle-earth:
Milford Sound was misty and moody. From a lowering grey sky, tissues of cloud wreathed the dark mountains, making them appear to block our passage.
Trees growing out of moss clung to the rock-face and in this harsh environment, frequent earthquakes caused 'tree avalanches' which would clear a whole mountainside of rainforest that took 80 years to grow back.
But the sun came out when the cruise ended:
As we boarded the flyer to take us back to dry land a curtain of cloud descended, obscuring the mountains all around us and rather predictably it began to pour with rain, just as the next cruise was setting off. We felt sorry for the people on board who must have done that cruise in the rain then left Milford at three o'clock when suddenly, miraculously, the sky cleared. Blue sky advanced from a seaward direction, working its way up the fiord until Milford Sound was bathed in sunlight and the Mitre Peak stood there exulting in its predominance.
I missed going on the Doubtful Sound cruise last year, but Joe took some stunning photos.
Below, is one of my favourites. The butterfly effect!