Yesterday we docked at Port Chalmers, entry to Dunedin and a train ride through Taieri Gorge up to Pukerangi station then returning to the Ruby Princes with a stop at Larnach Castle. 

Here we are in the highlands at Pukerangi but too far south to see the New Zealand Alps.  They will wait for another day.  The snow and glacier covered mountains pictured in our expectations were elusive.  Weather, including clouds and rain, squashed any possible views at our Picton stop or Akoroa anchorage.  

The views from the Larnach Castle were amazing.

Cindy was the last to get on board before we sailed—taking photos and talking to each of the crew on the way up the gangplank.  Then she got stopped as we went through security—the bag inspection X-ray  picked up our contraband.  A rail spike that I had found along the tracks with a most unusual shape.  

For the final insult, not in the control of our ship’s captain, the Ruby Princess headed north to Cook Strait instead of south to Fiordland at the southern tip of the southern island.  Again expectations un-sated.  A southern storm was working its way up the coast and threatened 50 mph winds and 10 meter waves (33 feet).  Commodore Georgio Pamata determined the conditions may jeopardize our safety so he is taking the more traveled route on our way west to Tasmania. 

As I write we are experiencing heavy winds and the ship is creaking as it plunges into the swells.  Cindy went topside to see ice carving only to come back with a plate of pizza and two ice cream cups because the Horizons Terrace dining hall on deck 16 was closing. It was too dangerous for passengers on that deck.

We just went down for Dramamine and the ship is not providing it free but we could buy it for 10 NZ$. 6 orange flavored tablets. The Seahawks will be playing the Vikings apparently in the playoffs. Cindy is worried if our ship is going to stay together so is looking for a prayer group. New Zealand is beautiful.

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