Five weeks of work down and I was itching to get back to the South Island. My enthusiasm for going there every weekend has now been tempered after my first bad ferry crossing. They would not have sold much food in the onboard restaurant that evening. After an hour a crew member announced: “I’ve had a walk round and lots of you are doing really well… If you could refrain from using the toilets, and just use the sick bags…” Bleurgh.
On Saturday I went on my first kayaking trip – an all day affair on two-person cameras. It was a great day – 90 minutes paddle then a stop for a cuppa (made fresh on a gas camping stove) then another hour on to what should have been our lunch stop. Our guide had decided the water was calm enough to go across to the opposite bay, which was great as it was very calm, with clear blue waters. But on arrival the wind picked up so we decided not to stop for lunch and instead go back across the bay to our pick up point. By this time the swell was quite high and I was looking forward to getting stuck in to a proper hard paddle. After about 20 minutes, I heard a yelp and looked to see that the two guys in the boat next to us had capsized. I was pretty reassured to find they made it free of the neoprene cover straight away. We had a long wait whilst they got back in their boat and got the water out. Meanwhile we had all drifted so far that we had to divert and finish our journey at a different bay from anticipated. I felt sorry for the capsizees but it made for a better adventure for us by having some more difficult conditions to paddle in.
Sunday was wine tour day, in Marlborough this time, and again on bike. I have failed to take any photos of wine or the wineries themselves but you get the idea. And the cycling was wonderful. As was the company!