Today was a time to relax and to enjoy the beauty of the ship as she navigates south along the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Our route has been traced and we are heading into the infamous Cook Strait to seek shelter later today in Tasman Bay.

Part of the beauty of traveling anywhere is to get to know the challenges of the region we visit. Our trip in New Zealand has been great so far, but it requires good planning and the proper decision-making to succeed. In areas like this, weather will always present its challenges, and today we would have to seek shelter inside Tasman Bay, a protected area within Cook Strait, to avoid heavy seas just outside the northwestern side of the South Island.

The Cook Strait is the channel that separates the North and the South Islands of New Zealand. The strait connects the Tasman Sea in the northwest with the South Pacific Ocean in the southeast. The strait is about 14 miles wide at its narrowest point and considered one of the most unpredictable waterways in the world. Luckily for us (and thanks again to the good planning,) we would be avoiding any difficulty and instead enjoying a most pleasant navigation while there.

As we navigate, we had the opportunity to catch up and review the amazing array of pictures we have been able to capture so far, as well as to enjoy presentations from the natural history staff as well as our guests speakers.