Sunday February 14
I slept overnight next to a cool little lagoon, sandwiched between rocks and rock pools. T2 was safely pulled well up from the high tide line, and I was camped on dry ground too. I fell asleep to the sounds of waves crashing on rocks, I only got up once to check T2 was still with me!
I got up as the sun rose, a very pretty pink hue the sky was. I then started to put away my tent and packed up my kayak. I waited until about 8am to launch and pushed off with no dramas. I just waded out a bit and jumped in, too easy. Off I paddled, I got to the 10km mark and the weather was not as windy as I expected. I cut through a gap past some small islands, very calm water so I had some time to look at the scenery. I was lucky enough to spot two white tailed deer on the beach, wow! So cool, so amazing. I took some pictures and then headed back out into the ocean. It was more of a washing machine on this side of the island, it seems I picked that wrong. Oh well.
Along a bit further with barely a few kms to go, I hear a small plane above me. I wave, as I know Nat is on her way over to meet me, she has planned a hike from Masons to Doughboy. As I looked up and waved they did a low flyover. It seemed strange to me at the time that they had flown over Doughboy to get to Mason when it was further away. As I rounded the corner, a bright pink top was standing on the beach. Well, not standing, jumping about in joy! It was Nat, Raymond from Stewart Island Flights (seriously the best way to get to the island!) had delivered her to Doughboy Bay and saved her a long, arduous trek over the hill. To be honest it was so great to see Nat, and she was so happy, she had so enjoyed the trip over as she loves small planes, the team have been very spoilt!
We grabbed T2 and it was, you guessed it, low tide. We luged gear up the beach, deposited T2 in the sand dunes, then wandered up to the DOC hut to unload and dry gear. It was hot, the bumble bees, blow flies and sand flies decided we were wonderful and arrived en mass, so out came the insect repellant. Thank goodness I do not react to them biting, they are just a nuisance!
Once we had eaten and gotten organised we went for a massive walk to the other end of the beach. We found caves and tunnels, Doughboy Bay is such a special place and I feel privileged to have been able to stop and visit. I will be here for a few days now as the weather and winds pick up, as predicted.
Today I stopped early, today many would have why? What's wrong? Keep paddling! I want to see and feel Stewart Island and I am hoping she will be kind back to me.
We hung around the campsite a little while then said, "Let's go walking." The track to the fishing spot was calling, we grabbed the gear we needed and set off. In the DOC guest book it was mentioned some of the track was a little difficult, and not to attempt it at night. We sure needed our wits about about us, we had to look out for every coloured marker of piece of faded string incase we lost the barely used, overgrown track. There were a couple of 'oops' moments, but we went slowly and got back on track quickly. They were right, not to be attempted in the dark!
We got to the fishing spot and I went to get the line out of my bag, only to discover I had left it on the table in the hut! Oh well, tomorrow. The winds are up and I am now going to be the resident Doughboy Bay gypsy kayaker for a few days.
My favourite item so far on this solo stretch is my Inreach unit. It has helped me keep in contact with support crew and receive the all important, twice daily weather forecasts. Shane, it's the best! It took me awhile to learn but now it rocks mine and the support crews world. Thank you, there has been no cell phone coverage at all down here, it has been a life saver.
The water at Doughboy Bay has a golden glitter effect, like fool's gold. I will have to investigate and find out what it is.
A sad moment, there are still at least 22 decaying pilot whale bodies above the high tide line of the beach. They beached on the third of November. Such beautiful creatures and such a sad sight.
The best dinner tonight, fresh food from Nat, avacados, bacon, corgettes, carrot, so yummy. We are rationing the food as we are unsure how long this trip will take, fishing tomorrow and hunting for paua. I am tired and happy, it is a very special place here, beautiful and unspoilt. Thanks.
My smiles today:
In the tent with the sandflies outside, now that makes me smile.
Seeing Nat jumping for joy.
Seeing the plane flying low over me.
Stopping for time out at Doughboy Bay.
Thanking Stewart Island today, such a special place.
A beautiful, amazing evening.
Nat's thoughts today:
Why do whales beach themselves? It is so sad :(
My thoughts today:
There are so many special places, everyone should see them before we go. We need to stop, breathe and live.