Sunday, March 26: A little rain to begin with and towards lunch time, stopping in the afternoon and clearing somewhat towards evening.
Sea kayaking: 19.4 km
Mistletoe Bay Campsite (Doc, $16)
There was one busybody up at around 6:30, and the alarm went off on time, so I went for a shower, finished the fruit juice, had a coffee, and then started packing. Was ready to go by 8:00 and was at Christelle’s hostel at ten past; then we were quickly at MSA, greeted by Alicia who was taking us through the hoops. First there was a safety video, which was mostly fairly common sense, some poor shooting, and one detailed commentary on wind ferrying which was technically right over the top.
Then the discussion about trip planning with Alicia started. I was fairly sure about stopping @ Davies Bay to begin with; an alternative was offered @ Mistletoe (apparently $10 more expensive, but with a camp kitchen). Ratimera and Blumine could follow, and Cannibal Cove, even, would be possible for the last night, and we could get to Ship Cove by 2:30 for the water taxi back. I got a few tips about alternative water taxi stops that we might be picked up from. Anyway with the combination of my spot and Christelle’s cell phone we should be able to arrange something if things go wrong. Read more…
Saturday, March 25: Overcast with drizzle in the morning, lighter rain developing in the course of the afternoon & evening
Very quiet the whole night and morning. I was up around 8:30 expecting there to be a rush for breakfast but apart from an obviously set breakfast table, nothing else was stirring. I had the end three pieces of bread as vegemite on toast, some fruit juice & coffee.
Preparations for the Queen Charlotte Track sea kayak tour were beginning to take priority. Since neither toothpaste nor coffee will be enough for five days, replacements had to be bought from Four Square. Had sent off emails to one of the attendees of Skeptics in the Pub who is a biology teacher, and there was some interest from her for a class of 14-year-olds. Also sent a message to Gold about the Cosmic Shambles performance (will also have to message Dell). Got an OK for a place to stay near Birkenhead and back-calculated the time from the airport to there at 1½ hours and gave the hostess an ETA, which was appreciated. Read more…
Friday, March 24: Cloudy pretty much the whole day
Jugglers’ Rest, 8 Canterbury St., Picton, double room as single ($60, BBH)
The alarm actually went off @ 7:00 and the rest of the stuff was fairly easily packed away into two backpacks, the smaller one with the computer and the clothes, so that will be the satellite for this tour. Genie was up somewhat later and I had found everything for breakfast before she appeared for a shower. I gave her a copy of the book and after a short discussion of the room I grabbed my stuff, packed it into her car and we were at the bus stop @ around 8:45.
The bus driver was already loading passengers so I immediately had my stuff stowed away and chose a seat up front for the journey, and started on consuming some now month old podcasts. A couple of extra stops around town netted very few extra passengers and it was only after that were we onto the main road, some corners of which I actually recognised from 2009 or 2013. A bit of construction work along the way and the stop in Blenheim was very short. We were just a bit late into Picton. Read more…
Thursday, March 23: Very cloudy in the morning and a little cool, but warming to clear, blue skies; in the evening some dark clouds
Walking: 2.0 km
Genie offered to take me to the Brook conservation area for a bit of a walk this morning. This is a predator-proof zone not far from the centre of town, along a couple of roads that I had not yet reached, and is in a valley whose dams provided Nelson’s first drinking water (entry $5 donation).
A couple of fantails, a few bell birds, and one weka were very much all that could be seen or heard; a few trees had the distinctive orange berries that I had seen on the Heaphy, but by the time I had returned the staff were out again and I could not ask what they were. Seems like karaka might be a possibility, but for the fruit size. Read more…