Tuesday, 1 February 2011

New Zealand – South Island

Friday January 28th - Akaroa

Today we had a complimentary Seabourn Event ‘The Akaroa French Fete’

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Originally the French tried to colonise the island but the English (good ol’ boys) beat them by a narrow margin of 10 days however the first French settlers decided to stay at Akaroa and even today it retains its Gallic charm.

We were driven to French Farm and enjoyed a selection of French tasters and New Zealand wines followed by an hour of entertainment by the brilliant Ashley Clarke Band, a flute soloist and finally a famous New Zealand opera singer. It was a wonderful day and as you can see from the pictures we had a lot of fun.

This evening we should have been dancing under the stars on deck but unfortunately the weather has turned nasty so we have all retreated indoors to the Club saloon for a right old knees up…and just a few more drinks…honest!!

Saturday January 29th – Lyttelton / Christchurch

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Didn’t see much of Christchurch today because we spent most of the day looking for a dentist… at 9:30am we went shopping with the Exec Chef Graeme at a farmers market in Lyttelton where he hoped to pick up some local produce.

Vance decided to taste the local plums and promptly broke his front tooth veneer on a plum stone … Vance says the person who says fruit is good for you is an idiot!! As it was a Saturday all the dentists in Lyttelton – all 2 of them – were closed and the only emergency appointment we could get was at 1pm in Christchurch a 35 minute drive away. Brilliant job by the dentist and Vance is now back to his normal handsome self!!

As we had to be back onboard by 4:30pm we only had about an hour left to sightsee.

It’s now 7pm but the sun seems to be as it is at 3pm in summer at home – really bright and still quite warm. Sunset here is not until 9:30pm tonight. Ship is really rolling now and the captain says the waves are about 15 to 20 feet. The spray is coming over our veranda so we’re keeping our patio doors very tightly shut.

Vance says that people that travel the world in those small boats must be very brave … I think they must be very stupid!!

Sunday January 30th - Dunedin

Just a quick visit to Dunedin today for a visit to what is known as little Edinburgh.

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Back on board we decided to take afternoon tea in the Observation Lounge – freshly baked fruit scones with strawberry jam, clotted cream and decaffeinated earl grey tea…very British …AND delicious.

Here’s Vance's tech update for those sad enough to be interested:

Temp = 62f
Wind Speed = 58 mph
Ship Speed = 15 knots
Sunrise = 6:30am
Sunset = 9:30pm
Distance to Hobart 1000 nautical miles which will take about 3 days

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