Page:Picturesque New Zealand, 1913.djvu/307

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
199
MILFORD SOUND

for seals." To me, just emerged from dense forests inset with lakes and rivers, this notice seemed strangely out of place, and this impression was sustained by a calm, beautiful sheet of water right ahead which looked like another lake. But it was not a lake. Like General Sherman, I had marched—while others less fortunate had limped—to the sea. Before me was Milford Sound, and ten miles away were the heavy breakers of the Tasman. A great many years ago this sea-arm had been the haunt of sealers; now it was a rendezvous of tourists.

Here Mitre Peak lifted itself more than a mile above the sound and presented a cliff face familiarly known as the "Titan of sea cliffs." Here were the Palisades of Kimberley, shedding waterfalls that expanded into mist long before they reached the sound; here were the graceful Lion; Pembroke Peak and its glacier; and Tutoko Peak (9042 feet), highest of all the mountains of Fiordland National Park; lastly, here, when the sound was calm, were water reflections such as seem impossible for any other part of the world to excel.

And here, at Sand-Fly Point, others and I beat the air in vengeful pursuit of sand-flies more agile than ourselves, and awaited the coming of the launch in command of Captain Donald Sutherland and his hardy crew. Yes, although the Captain was both pilot and engineer and had little need of deckhands, he had a crew aboard. But they did not work; when they were not aviating about the sound, they just sat around and