One of the most wonderful moments on our cruise around New Zealand, so far, was when we were leaving the estuary at Dunedin. Bernie and I were sitting on our balcony, watching the soft green hills passing by as the giant ship gained speed towards the open sea.
Just ahead of us was a promontory that jutted out in to the waterway. There was a road around its edge, and a couple of parking spots at the point nearest to where the ships pass. From a distance, we could see a car pull up… and could ‘feel’ the intensity of its purpose. Three figures raced out – two adults and a child – and began waving furiously at the Solstice – the name of our ship.
A few minutes prior, the captain had given the traditional parting signal: three loud blasts of the ship’s very deep and musical horn. But now, as though seeing the family waving, he did it again. It is a deep, sonorous and landscape-shaking thing. The little child danced with joy as this happened, and I managed to grab a shot or two with the iPhone. Zooming–in is not its strength, so, by the time the images get to this blog, the quality may be poor. Nevertheless it was worth it to try to capture the joy of the moment.
As we passed, we began to wave to the family from our balcony, not expecting them to notice us in the mass of this giant ship – but they did. They saw us and began waving, enthusiastically back. Such a simple thing, but, in the golden light of our departure, what a beautiful experience.
Next stop – Akaroa… and a Maori encounter.