Fjordlands National Park — Dusky Sound

On Wednesday we sailed through Fjordland National Park on the South Island.  We visited three sounds, Dusky, Doubtful and Milford.  Dusky Sound was our first sailing destination at 8 in the morning.  Dusky was named by Captain Cook, and on this day it seems to live up to its name.  Cook spent time repairing and replenishing his ships on his second voyage after a rough Indian Ocean crossing.  It was the site of the first European building in New Zealand, built by castaways.  Today no one lives here and it is one of the more difficult of the fjords to get to.  However animals introduced by sailors have gotten here, for instance rats, which are a danger to indigenous flightless birds.  Some of the islands in the area are the subject of intensive invasive species removal so that local birds can be reintroduced.   Naturalist Richard Henry worked here during the last decade of the 19th and first decade of the 20th century to rid some islands of rats to help revive some native species.  We sailed into Dusky Sound, around Resolution Island (named after Cook’s ship) and back into the Tasman Sea through Breaksea Sound.   As we left the sound the clouds in this temperate rainforest started to lift and the rain had stopped giving us a glimpse of some of the peaks.

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