With the prospect of rough seas, we were all pleased to awaken to fine weather and gentle rolling waves. We made good progress down the western coast of New Zealand after a wonderful day in Abel Tasman National Park at the head of the South Island, locally known as Te Waipounamu.

The day was spent relaxing in the hot tub, listening to lectures, and viewing wildlife at sea. A few notable sightings were made of fin whales, Gray’s beaked whales, and, of course, the wandering albatross.

Captivating lectures were enjoyed throughout the day, including Jeff Mauritzen on landscapes and composing images with light and layers; Yann Herrera on “Te ora I te moana o Aotearoa: Life at Sea in New Zealand”; Martin Cohen on the “Life and Times of James Cook”; and Tua Pitman on Polynesian voyaging.

Tonight, we’re watching a Kiwi classic film called Boy before we prepare for an adventure packed day in Milford and Doubtful Sound in the magnificent Fiordland National Park.