47. Blumine Island – Cannibal Cove (Queen Charlotte 4/5)

Wednesday, March 29: Cloudy overnight, becoming a bit lighter in the course of the day, freshening south wind, and rain showers in the later afternoon & early evening

Sea kayaking: 16.4 km

Cannibal Cove ($6, Doc)

Graham & Warwick were up extremely early to practise for getting up early on Thursday morning (their water taxi leaves at 8:30), as well as some very vocal wekas, and we slept in a bit until Christelle’s alarm clock went off at 7:00.

The weather was not promising for the deck camera, so everything was packed away until at least lunchtime. We were also quite early and Christelle was eager to go & not so much interested in the historical walks, so we pushed off just after 9:30.

The first crossing was fairly easy and we were able to turn into Resolution Cove and spent a bit of time looking at the coves, passed by one of the Queen Charlotte Track lodges and then to the Doc campsite which was fairly well trodden down. Christelle’s hat decided to go for a walk so I chased after it and retrieved it from a weka. We had lunch there, and were briefly visited by two hikers, both with very light packs, obviously the heavy lifting was being done by the water taxi. I decided that the A470-Pea could be sacrificed so it was set up on the very front of the bow and the security tie had to be performed as the last ditch. Set the mode to “M” and continuous shooting was activated, and the camera was going choc-a-bloc for the rest of the afternoon.

Weather was changeable between isolated sunny spots and being clouded over. The south wind was blowing strongly and the ocean was beginning to make itself known. I was taking course directly north across Ship Cove and we were being buffeted up and down and partially surfing the north bound waves. We reached a point where I was wondering which of the first or the second of the further points was the one we might have to turn around. One thing that I found more useful with the map provided by MSA was that it was fixed to the boat by a rubber lead and could be completely removed from under the fastening and consulted on demand.

Ocean in plain sight. GPS quality: 30/30, coverage: 100%, download: Blumine Island - Cannibal Cove GPX (1013 downloads)

Anyway I was trying to work out how far down Motuara Island we had to be to make the turn when I spotted a couple of tents at the back end of the cove, and as there was no other possibility to camp on the further side of Ship Cove we decided to check out what was going on. The triangulation also showed that this should already be Cannibal Cove, even though it was just before 13:30.

As we drew closer it became clear that there were about a dozen other people camping there so that the rest of the afternoon was spent chatting with the inhabitants as they went about their business. We were offered some blue cod that had been freshly prepared. One guy had found some remains of the original farmhouse with hydrangeas, a horse chestnut tree, terraces, bottles, fence wiring and concrete slabs. A fire was prepared for the evening, a bit of rain turned up, and the tarps that had been strung up to protect the one picnic table and the cooking bench had to be adjusted and extended. Eventually it was time for the fish and the rest of the dinner (instant noodles). The challenge was to do this on about 20 g of the remaining 30 g of gas. I fried the fish in butter until it was just done, which was enough, then two large cups of water were brought to boil and that took three packets of noodles, although the Thai Spicy varieties were very spicy indeed with that amount of water (and the last oxo cube). The peanut chocolate chip cookies were also finished off and that was that. Our farm discoverer got a beach fire going and despite showers people congregated around.

The name “Cannibal Cove” gave occasion for a joke or two. Perhaps before landing we should have asked the inhabitants if they had already eaten? Or: Shall we get dressed for dinner? French or Thousand Island?

Darkness has fallen but the social life continues. I went down to the creek in the hope of seeing some glowworms, but there were only one or two about.