Today was everything that we could ask from the weather down here. The skies were blue, the clouds fluffy and up in the sky where they belong, rather than at mast height, and the wind was a model of restraint. Penguins porpoised in the sunshine.
The day was so good that the boys even played nicely together. And with all the open vistas around us, and a bit of a walk up a hill for a view, and the bracing cold air on my face, I started to recall the magic of higher-latitude places. At their best, they're so clean, and elemental, and offer such a quality of solitude, that they can leave you feeling that everything really is all right with the world, and that you are in exactly the right place in it. I suppose I've had that feeling much more strongly in Alaska, where I know enough of what is going on to feel at home, and at ease, in really spectacular settings. In a place like the Aucklands, where we are such outsiders, and only tentatively feeling our way into things, it's hard to let your guard down long enough to start thinking about the more transcendent side of wild places. But today I did get the shade of the idea.
In a more concrete vein, the forecast is looking as good as we could hope for over the next few days, and we are planning on lighting out tomorrow, bound north to the South Island of New Zealand. Our ambition is to get all the way to Dunedin, the first port as you head up the east coast, and to leave all the weather uncertainty of the bottom end of En Zed behind...