46. Kumutoto Bay – Blumine Island (Queen Charlotte 3/5)

Tuesday, March 28: Cloudy to begin with, less wind than the night before, becoming sunny and fine with little to no wind by the early afternoon

Sea kayaking: 21.9 km

Blumine Island campsite ($6, Doc)

During the night I had cramped again and again, first in the left calf, then in the right. Nothing too serious or permanent, but in my contortions I had bent my glasses and trying to fix them I dislodged one lens. Managed to get everything back together and did get some sleep in the end.

We were up at around 7:30 and ready to go just on two hours later. The sea was much calmer, although the weather wasn’t promising that much. I set the camera up for time lapse and it did something (have since discovered that M mode had to be set on the A470 to be able to trigger continuous mode). We wanted to get to Ratimera and decide further from there. For the first bit Graham & Warwick were following us 10-15 minutes behind but they didn’t take the turn to Ratimera and we didn’t see them until later. I used the Travel Buddy pillow to support my back and that worked very well as long as I put the footpegs back one stop again.

View from Blumine Island in the afternoon (bracketed panorama)
View from Blumine Island in the afternoon (bracketed panorama)

We were in Ratimera @ 11:30 and decided on lunch there – this time the cheese had run out and salami was on the menu, together with the last of the apples. Ratimera is quite a pleasant and spacious campsite, with ‘tap’ water of sorts. Two more hours yesterday would have been too much to get here before dark. The sun was beginning to show as we set off past the salmon farm towards Snake Head and Blumine.

I mistook the first head that we went around as the first of three before Snake Head, but it was in fact the last. I was a bit surprised by the extent of the bay that followed (Bay of Many Coves) and should have been tipped off by the huge plantation forestry on the other side – which was, of course, already Snake Head. We had a short break for Christelle, and then went further along the coast, northwards towards Endeavour Inlet. At about this point Christelle thought that a peninsula to the east could be Snake Head, but then the map would make no sense as two islands appeared towards the open sea, neither of which could be Blumine. I held the peninsula for the westernmost end of Arapawa Island, but again the islands could not be Blumine.

Fine day for a paddle. GPS quality: 30/30, coverage: 100%, download: Kumutoto Bay - Blumine Island GPX (1013 downloads)

We signalled to a boat which had stopped some distance off and whose inhabitants were fishing, paddled over and asked where Blumine was and were told it was behind us to the east, the peninsula being the northernmost point of Blumine. We set off on the rather short stretch to the island, saw that Graham & Warwick had landed there as well, and were drying their stuff, and went ashore at just before 3:00. Emptied the boats and set up the tents (mine was almost dry from last night). Christelle went for a walk and I set up nearly everything to dry, and the tent was thoroughly aired.

Went down to the beach to try the panorama (twice); bracketed, with pol filter. Christelle was back from her walk, so we took everything else out of the boat and carried it up. Then it was time for dinner (125 g carrot, 250 g beans, one cup of rice, boiled for 12 minutes and seasoned with salt and dead horse). A couple of peanut chocolate cookies were for dessert, but unfortunately some fell to the ground where they were snatched by numerous weka. This island is full of bird calls, as it is predator-free.

Reviewed today’s photos and most then them appear OK. Set up a time lapse of the sunset, have to look at where the water has come to, since the tide is coming in again. The camera stopped at some random point again, will have to see why at some time later. A yacht that was moored in the bay for a little while has moved on.

Anyway it was a peerless sky, a beautiful view across the water to a range of mountains the sun was setting behind. This is the New Zealand everyone imagines they are coming to visit, but very few get to see. Christelle went to bed rather early, even though the weka were calling very loudly, and everything edible and otherwise still had to be removed from the picnic table, since the weka were everywhere. Off to a last major day tomorrow, rain predicted for tomorrow afternoon.