Friday, December 19, 2014

We Are Sailing, We Are Sailing…..

After the weather at the beginning of the week I was not looking forward to the trip across to Great Barrier Island. It was looking rough as and with a couple of sailings cancelled, I was not a happy camper.
So on Thursday I left my lovely sister Val’s and headed off towards my last jab for my Hepatitis A & B vaccination and got a call from my lovely ex boss to say that she was in Papakura with her tent and sleeping bags. Now just to keep you up on the play, she and her son are coming over to the Barrier in January for a few days and I suggested that she drop off the larger of their gear to save weight and space as they fly over. So I caught up with Lynette and Huki from Waahi Whaanui Trust where I used to work and had a bit of a natter.
So off to the nurse to get a quick jab then off to grab the last of the fresh fruit and veges and then headed off to the Tank Farm near the Viaduct in central Auckland. I circled Beaumont St until I found a lovely park for the night…
Was a busy little area with lots of fishing being done but no fish being caught.
I set up the Christmas tree that was given to me by two of my sisters. Thanks guys, thought that I had gotten away without this year! Have to admit it looks good sitting there with it’s flashing lights and colours.
Went wandering around the Wynyard Quarter and the watched the boats off the point.
It was almost as good as people watching.
I had a lovely dinner (almost) with my friend Alison (her lamb was not the best) at one of the many restaurants along the wharf area and then she headed off towards the airport.
A quiet night was had  apart from on rowdy car at 1:30am, and in the morning the fog had rolled in…
and for those of you who don’t recognise the quote (like 99.9% of you), it is a line from a German play called Gross und Klein (Big and Little) by Botho Straus. It played for a short (very) season at Downstage Theatre in Wellington while I worked there.
So I drove down to the ferry terminal and they pretty much loaded me straight away at 6:45am and so I was sitting there all alone….
but things gradually filled up until….
So pretty much on time (08:02) we left the wharf and headed out into the foggy Waitemata Harbour for our 4 1/2 hour journey to Tryphena at the southern end of Great Barrier Island.

On the way the trip was smoooooth
and broken only with the sighting of a pair of Bryde’s whales. We slowed down to almost a stop to allow for pics and viewings…
and then a while later….

So after a bit of a rolling swell as we crossed the Colville Channel we headed into Tryphena
From there I met with one of the DoC workers and one of my fellow camp managers and we convoyed up the island gathering up the frozen stuff from the other camp managers to put in the freezers at Okiwi. So 40 km later….over a very windy road, but sealed and nowhere near as bad as the roads in the Coromandel, I arrived in Okiwi to meet Alistair who is the boss here. I also caught up with  Finella whom I knew through budgeting a number of years ago. A lovely local identity.
Then after a quick lunch and drink there (there was a bit of a get together happening and food for miles) it was a quick trip over the last hill, through Port FitzRoy (yes local spelling) and onto Akapoua Bay, my home for the next 4 weeks.
The site is a bit bedraggled as it recovers from the storm in June that washed a great deal of the campsite away into the harbour. They have managed to get things to rights but still work to be done. Some trees coming down tomorrow as they are undercut by the creek and still some gravel to be graded in. But a lovely spot, heaps of birdlife, rabbits for miles,(snares have been suggested to me) and very peaceful.
The beach is a bit littered with debris but still accessible for me and the kayak so will have a wander around this afternoon.
Will get this posted now and see what the weather is doing. The forecast is for a bit of rain this afternoon and it has clouded over. But still….awesome to be here!
Safe travels and please all be safe over the silly season!