DAY 147...Potatoes, VHF woes, Cod and a Hawk

Monday 21st March.

I went to sleep at midnight then woke every hour until 5am.  I had been very spoilt and due to bad weather last night Tutoko was still at Beach Harbour I had been offered a bed to sleep in for the night.  Unfortunately it meant that for the first time on this trip, I really truly worried about T2 and if my tent was okay or flooded.  As it got closer to 6am the team started to stir and coffee was brewed.  Breakfast was eaten up and I was ready to depart, the guys gave me the most amazing departure blessing it truly brought tears to my eyes.  Then off I stepped onto the little tender and speed off to the beach, knee deep into the water I jump in and pushed them back towards the mothership.  As I waved good bye I felt the warmth of their generosity, kindness & blessings sooth my soul.  This experience will stay with me forever.  To Dave and Dianne from Fiordland Expeditions, thanks for picking up this kayaking hitchhiker, it is totally appreciated.

I unzipped my tent and it is as dry as a bone.  T2 was securely still on top of the steep bank of rocks and tied to a massive tree stump.  I stood under the beech trees out of as much of the rain and mist as possible and I waved the Tutoko goodbye.

I returned to my tent to try and sort out my VHF.  I had been having issues, I could talk into it and be heard but I couldn't hear anyone talking to me or others at all!  After a while it started to work and I went phew, plan b is to get another sent to Blanket Bay and I will collect it from there.  I was tired and it was raining now, so I curled up and slept for about two hours, waking when I heard the other yacht and launch motor past and depart this harbour.  It was calm!  Not much rain and I was still here!  The caged tiger started to pace!  Do I move to the bay we had talked about?  I messaged the team to suggest I maybe paddle, poor them.  I came to my senses and just got into my gear and paddled around to Sunday Cove to see if my VHF was still working after it crackled into life earlier this morning.  Nope, it had stopped again.  I chatted to Ian, who had just returned from a cray fishing day, about the upcoming coastline, the weather and VHFs.  I then headed over to the DOC dive Team on the 'UNI' barge to see if they had any ideas about my VHF, when it crackled into life again?!  It is working, great.  

It then started to rain so I headed to leave and then was given food from Ian and his team, thank you.  Potatoes and lots of yummy stuff, I am in heaven.  All I need now is to catch a cod for dinner and I am sorted.  Would you believe it, I caught three!  Only kept one for dinner, I just enjoyed dragging in the others.  Back I paddled to a very low tide where I got T2 safely back to her above high tide position.  I decided to light a fire, I cooked my crispy fried potatoes, filleted my cod and fried this up with some herbs.  There was no rain, no sandflies, mist, a calm Breaksea Sound, a couple of launches and me.  It was simply magical, there are new waterfalls cascading down the steep mountains and hills after all of the rain we have had and pictures do not show how spectacular it is, these sights have to be seen to appreciated how grand a scale the sounds actually are. 

A couple of helicopters flew over, one was carrying a hunters deer.  Soon it was dark so into my tent I crawled, spent time talking to the team and messaging about organising a new VHF, mine has stopped working again!  Weather report in and it is shit till at least Thursday.  The caged tiger is ok now, she is fine to wait as everything happens for a reason.  I am catching fish, I have plenty of food, I am meeting amazing new people in this remote location and when it is time I will paddle. Until then I am going to truly absorb this wondrous place I am in.

My smiles today: 
The blessing on the boat.  Thank you guys, inspirational.
My really bad skills at stabbing a cod.
My bag of potatoes, Ian you are a rock star.
My fire lighting skills after three days of rain, success
The hawk that came and watched while I cut up the cod and then got given the head to eat.  Serene and elegant.

My thoughts today:
How incredible and totally magnificent this part if NZ is, I will never forget.  Make the choice to make it a day worth living.

Good night from Red, T2 & my Macpac tent.

The Hawk posing after eating his cod head.

The Hawk posing after eating his cod head.

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