Natures Gift – Diving Part 1 – Milford Sound, New Zealand

Awoke at a very early 7am then were picked up by Taranaki Scuba guides, Dave and Tim. We made the quick drive to the boat launch. After wiggling our way into the (wrong size) wetsuits, we boarded the craft but not before getting a small taste of the frigid water in our boots. Brrrrr! They say that if you get one good day in Milford Sound, you should consider yourself lucky. We got 2 out of 3.

The sky was an intense light blue with cotton candy rings lingering just below the mountain tops. We sped through the arctic waters of the estuary fanning a white frothy fish tail behind our boat, the Sea Dragon. We wore an excited grin on our faces and anticipation in our eyes.

Our first diver was sharp reminder that yes, we are in glacier country. As we prepared to enter the water, I gazed up at the great piles of rock staring down at us. I felt so lucky. Tim and Dave basically did everything for us which was nice because it allowed me to get totally lost in the intoxicating nature surrounding us.

On my cue, I rolled back of the side of the small 7 person jet boat and plunged into the shockingly refreshing blue expanse. Sus would snorkel while Kenneth and I made our steady decent into the thickly silent marine underworld. I was having some serious buoyancy issues, so much of the first dive was spent struggling with not being pulled up to the surface. Many times I felt myself floating higher and higher when all of a sudden Tim would grab my ankle pulling me back down to the sea floor.

All five of us hovered weightlessly above a kelp garden watching a young purple octopus torpedo from plant to plant. She would settle atop a leafy sea chair curling her tentacles around her soft jelly mass like tendrils around a babys` face. We glided steadily just feet above the sandy sea bottom spotting colored fish and sea cucumbers. Finally, we received our signal that it was time to ascend. After our extra safe 5 minute stop we popped our heads through the surface into the real world.

We warmed up drinking cuppa soup while Tim poured hot water down our wetsuits…ahhhhh! We took our break and disembarked ashore a small very remote beach. My toe was still quite raw so I stayed behind while the others left for a walk.

All of a sudden, I realized one of my dreams. I had been here before! The radiant sun warmed my face as I admired the impossibly high snowy peaks set in the crystal waters. Like icing sugar sprinkled over natures` pyramids. I looked to the right and see the water diamonds jumping from rock edge to rock creating a crash of platinum spray.

“We haven`t seen anything like this in months. There has been something of a draught here…until yesterday,” remarked our guides. The gushing waterfalls rush down from above forcefully reminding me of how lucky we are. A translucent rainbow shimmers in the mist as the sun shoots through the droplets producing millions of sparkles.

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