New Zealand: Milford Sound: 07/04/04: diving in a magnificent fjord

It looked to be a nice sunny day. That would be needed, because the water in the fjord Milford Sound is not that warm.

The diveclub was very organised. It was a small boat with 5 divers, 1 guide and 1 captain. But it all went very smooth. Everybody in their wetsuits already before boarding, and on board, we were given extra hats, gloves and a jacket, not to be cold.
The reason to dive in Milford Sound : there is continuously a layer of fresh water on top of salt water. This causes the salt water to be darker, and therefore animals that are normally found in deeper water can now be seen already at 10-20 metres. There is this layer of fresh water, because it rains a lot in MS. I mean: really a lot: in Belgium for example, annually you have around 800 mm/year, in MS: 8000 mm/year. So, to visit MS without rain, is a lucky day.
During the first dive, a seal was continuously swimming with us. They are very playfull in the water (but at the end, I was cautious because he was showing his teeth all the time and I didn’t know if it would bite). There were some nice thing to notice that I hadn’t seen before (some type of nudibranchs, black coral (which is in fact white), snakestar, …)
The only thing which I regretted a bit is that most of the divers were very unexperienced. So, there were not so much photograph-circumstances (sand being kicked up). But also, divers having boyancy problems, … (this means that I was a lot busy with looking at other divers).
To surface with such a beautifull view around you, gives a special feeling (mountains all around you).
The diving didn’t feel “that” cold. In between the dives, we were given warm soup and they put some hot water in our wetsuits. Again hats, gloves and jackets and we could cruise further in the fjord (we went all the way to the Tasman Sea and back).
It was a relaxing day and everything was done to keep us as warm and comfortable as possible.



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