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Published: November 25th 2007
Today was our overnight stay on Milford Sound. This sound is actually a fiord, a valley carved by a glacier that was filled in by the sea. Milford was over 4 hours west of Queenstown and we opted for the bus instead of the car (Brian was very happy about that). The trip was restful and full of great scenery: old trains, canyons, gorges, and LOTS of waterfalls (Amy was very happy about that). Once on the Milford Wanderer, the weather became gray and misty but the sun broke through and made a great rainbow. See the pic. A few of our group went on a short tour in a tender boat to have a look at the area. They saw a penguin and Amy was jealous, but she eventually did see a flash of white that we think was a Crested Penguin. We also got to see some playful Bottlenose Dolphins running with our boat and jumping way out of the water. Following dinner, we met some very nice Aussies: Anil (aka Charger), Mel (otherwise known as Snuffy), and, Craig (Dukes). They noticed our choice of clothes was rather bright, as well as coordinated, and gave us the nickname “Fluoro-Seppo”.
Upon explanation of this nickname, it became clear that Aussies (or maybe just these three) are not only clever and historically conscious, but slightly demented as well. The “Fluoro” is relatively self-explanatory (fluorescent). The “Seppo” needs more detailed discussion. Most Americans are pretty familiar with the British nickname, “Yank”. There is a unique British wordplay, rhyming slang, that substitutes rhyming words for a term (and can be unflattering). In this case, the rhyme to replace “Yank” is “Septic Tank”. This was then shortened to “Seppo”. Yup, “Seppo” is actually in Wikipedia, so it must be true. After much debate and a few glasses of wine, we moved on from this topic to a game called Anagrams using Scrabble tiles to make and steal words. A couple from Utah, Jim (Isotope Prof) and Edna (Jim, get a picture!), taught us this game and hopefully we’ll teach some of you to play it. Combining this game with some very nerdy LOTR discussion, on-the-fly rules, and some well-placed profanity led to a great evening. One of the Aussies never won but we think it was because they were so distracted waiting for the results of their election (P.S. - Compulsory voting is interesting
and could change things in the U.S.). We closed the ship down at almost midnight, squeezed into our dorm-like bunks with much head bumping and called it a night. That’s all for now. Stay tuned.
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