Sunday, February 24, 2019

Port Adventure (Stewart Island)

[Kyle]After a long, sloppy sail in the messy waves left over from the previous day’s storm, we finally arrived at Oyster Cove in Port Adventure. The narrow cove was just wide enough to allow us to swing on a single anchor and allowed us perfect protection from the winds outside.

Between Pegasus and Adventure - we even caught a fish - a very little one!

We had time for an extra day there, so we started early to make the most of it. While I downloaded the day’s weather forecasts, Maryanne went out in the dinghy to have a look around. She returned with lunch (for her). The floor of the dinghy had a good portion of freshly harvested mussels.

I joined her in the dinghy. We had a little poke around the shallows in the cove and then Maryanne made a couple of comments about trying to find a DOC hut a mile or so to the south. I initially was game to try. As soon as we left Oyster Cove and its protection, I found that I had to struggle hard to make any headway at all against the wind. This pretty quickly eroded my enthusiasm for the endeavor. I waffled between wanting to achieve the goal and just wanting to give up. I kept rowing (and complaining about going to all of that trouble to see some beat-up old hut) while waffling, though, and eventually I decided we had come too far for me to stop and go home empty-handed.

After we pulled the boat up on the beach, I calmed down. I was glad we had made it after all. The hut was actually the nicest one we have seen so far. Best of all, it was set above a beautiful golden beach.

Visiting the trail and hunters cabin at Kelly Beach - pretty beaches

Maryanne was keen to find a trail across the peninsula to a beach to the south, so we both dove into the bushes and poked around for a while until we finally spotted a series of trail markers that seemed to be going the right way.

We lost the trail several times. We quickly learned to retrace our steps to a last known position anytime we hadn’t seen a marker for a while. There were lots of places where the trail didn’t look like one and where things that weren’t looked like a trail.

We eventually made it to the beach. It was exposed to the wind and lingering seemed less than appealing, especially during the occasional brief rainstorms. It was pretty, though, and we achieved our goal, so we felt satisfied.

We didn’t lose the trail at all on the way back, which made it seem so much shorter. The dinghy ride was also easier as the wind did most of the work for me.

I then dropped Maryanne off to stink up the boat with her lunch, while I went for a solo tour of the stuff I had missed while getting the weather. I saw two cool things.

The first was a kiwi. It was rustling in the grass above me. I initially thought it was a rat or a possum, but then it looked up at me and I was able to spot the distinctive beak. I reached for my camera and it darted into the underbrush.

Around our anchorage - can you spot the octopus in the last picture?

The best thing I saw was when I noticed what looked like a light-colored rock under the water’s surface. It mysteriously disappeared a couple of seconds later, which sparked my curiosity. As I approached, a new, dark rock seemed to appear. Oh, could it be? Yes! I found an octopus! It was a big one, too. As it saw me approach, it tried changing all different kinds of colors as it slithered its way from rock to rock trying to avoid the big, scary, yellow thing looming over it. I sooo wished Maryanne was there to see it. When I got done with my little tour, I returned, hoping it was still there, but it had gone.

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