Whew, what a day! After breakfast of boiled egg, hash brown, tomato, sausage, plus as much toast, cereal and fruit as we wanted, the anchor came up and we motored off to Pegasus Bay — a 3 hour trip through open sea. It was rough!
I had taken Sealegs pills about 0815 but not long after we hit the open water I was outside, briefly throwing up over the rail — the officially sanctioned place for it. My friend Chris rubbed my back and told me to look at a distant point, not the water.
Chelsea, a crew member soon appeared with a stool for me to sit on, a drink of water and the advice to keep my eyes on the horizon, so that’s exactly what I did until about 1130 when we entered the calm waters of Pegasus Bay.
After lunch, where I elected to eat a single chicken nibble and a couple of slices of very delicious bread and butter, we were offered a chance to walk up to Bald Cone.
I thought I’d give it a go, along with about 20 others from the cruise. We were warned to wear gumboots with waterproof overtrousers outside the boots — we were to be hosed off when we returned!
Well, I’ve never been tramping. My milieu is walks that take up to a couple of hours, on formed tracks. I regard myself as somewhat fit — probably a 4 or 5 on a ten point scale.
I really struggled on this walk which was, of course, uphill, largely through deep watery sucky mud. (No photos of the mud because the going was too difficult to stop for such frivolities.) This part of Rakiura gets about 5 metres of rain per year and never dries out.
We had to climb for about 10 minutes before we could even stop on a flat open area to take off our life jackets and leave them on bushes.
Apart from the mud, and later the views, the most notable thing was the absolute excellence of the 3 crew members who came with the group and the helpfulness of all members of the party. We could go at our own pace and someone was always ready to help with a hand up or advise about where and how to place one’s feet.
The going was mud: deep mud, slippery mud, almost knee deep mud, puddles of mud, bogs, steep steps of mud, grooves of mud, mud that threatened to hold the gumboot fast while the foot moved on.
It was a matter of using the walking pole for balance, and holding on to any available vegetation for support.
After our first major stop, about a third of the way up, I was feeling very tired and suggested I wait there for everyone else to complete the climb. While the crew made clear it was my choice they also expressed concern that I’d have a long wait and it would be very cold. They offered me a cup of tea, and I accepted a hot water.
Since they’re the experts on the environment and safety and such things I agreed to continue, but after even more slogging through mud and bogs I decided to stop at the next rest point, about 2/3 of the way up. I would have a roughly one hour wait. Again the crew supplied me with hot water, this time with a chocolate biscuit, and they made sure I had a sheltered spot to wait.
So, I had an hour to rest, enjoy the scenery and take a load of photos.
Once back on the Milford Wanderer I gratefully grabbed a brief shower, enjoyed pork loin and vegetables for dinner then fell into bed at around 6.30 pm.
Thursday 22 July 2021