DAY 163...Anita Bay, Stand Down

Wednesday 6th April

My alarm went off and it is dark, a little rain but I can't feel any wind as I am camped inside the remains of this little stone cottage.  I put on my head torch and go out to the beach not feeling bad but, as always since the beginning of Fiordland, who knows what the massive mountain peeks are protecting you from.  I sort of slowly pack my gear down as last nights forecast was a 90% no, I was just hoping it might drop more, even a little less swell, but nothing was improving the further the north I went and it was a marginal 20km day to an unknown beach, or stay put and wait a couple more days to do a bigger push north?  

Everything was ready to go except I waited for a weather report before packing down my tent.  This morning it was taking 10-15 minutes to get messages sent and about as long to get anything in reply.  A little frustrated as I wandered in the dark along the stoney beach, holding the InReach up to the sky, at last a message but the weather was no better.  I frowned, I started to look out so sea, I started to overthink things and then for the next two hours until day light I fired messages to Nat, Jase and anyone who was listening, really trying to rationalise not paddling.  I hate marginal days, give me a massive blowing gale and I am good, but I stuck myself at the mouth of the Sound and looked out, being tormented by an ominous dark ocean out the tip and I had to deal with it, and it was not pleasing me.

I went wandering for pretty stones and seemed to locate some, this time I put them safely in a container so Mrs. Weka could not steal them.  I then made coffee, sat and watched the tourist boats come past Anita Bay and then turn back into the Sound.  There is so much more to Milford Sound and they all miss it.  Spectacular cliffs, peaks and glaciers, each location has been special and the hum of all the boats is not a positive thing for me and the Fiordland Experience.

I went to climb a small stream running out of the bush line, up, up, up I clambered until I got to this pretty waterfall, it was serene, beautiful and there seemed not to be a sandfly in sight.  As I clambered back to the beach I collected firewood on the way.  I decided maybe a cold dip in one of the big rock pools would help my mood.  After a few hours of being on the beach off I wandered with soap and shampoo.  This was meant to be enjoyable, ha, it was horrid.  As I got down to my crop top and gym shorts the sandflies attacked on mass, biting all the bare parts of my body.  I just immersed myself in the freezing cold pool of water, up to my neck, drowning all that had started biting me.  The remaining sandflies were now attacking my clean face, it was insane!  As I washed my hair they latched onto my bare arms and hands.  Then I had to get out and dressed, puling tops and leggings over my wet underwear, being bitten as never before.  That was totally hideous, i was clean and refreshed but dripping wet under dry clothes, there was no way I was uncovering any more skin, my wet clothes would stay on me and dry with my body heat.

The funny insane thing about this entire event is that normally you get such a shock to immerse yourself into a freezing cold stream of water but today it was so pleasant to stop the crazy bugs from biting me!  That is a mad story and even more insane if people could have seen me.

Today as low tide arrived I wandered back and forth looking for pretty rocks, I found a few and I am still hoping to find a really large one, Samuel Crow you have enthused me.  Once low tide had arrived I went back to grab some more mussels for dinner and I treated myself.  I have had since the start of this section some vacuum packed prosciutto so with my stores of dried food I fried onion and prosciutto till crispy and golden then stirred in my fire cooked mussels.  During the afternoon had fire baked some kumera so I poured the mussel prosciutto onion mixture over the kumera and baked it a bit more till crispy from all the oil then sat in my sent away from the insane bigs and enjoyed every mouthful.  The mussels reminded me of my time spent in Oban, Stewart Island and the best news is I have plenty for diner tomorrow night.

Dinner done, fire stoked, hottie heated it is time to tuck myself down for the night.  Rainfall is now heavy, intense showers and then it stops, but that is okay as I have a happy, full tummy and am in a dry, warm tent.  What more could I ask for?  well, to be in Cuzzie on the East Coast nearly home!  Mr. Morepork is calling, it is nealry time to clean my teeth and snuggle down for the night.  It also seems, maybe I can hear kiwi?   But I am not sure.

My smiles today:
The crazy water hole experience, oh what a story, what a memory.
My mussel and prosciutto dinner.
My hot water bottle, it rocks.
The tourist boats going aorund in circles.
Whittakers chocolate for dessert.

My thoughts today:
The trick is to enjoy lfe.  Don't wish away your days waiting for better ones.


Red's tent in the stone cottage

Red's tent in the stone cottage