Welcome and resting at Michelle and Murray’s has been more than comforting these last 3 days: bed, great food but also long talks and simple farming life fulfill the sadness of our trip interruption.
Max and Thierry are now on their way cycling, my turn to get back on my own way.
With a good forecast, I paddle to Stewart Island from Waituna Lagoon, with a circumnavigation in mind. Gentle facing and refreshing wind, tidal stream push help me to paddle the 30 nautical milles and Foveaux Strait crossing within 8hours. What a lovely town than Oban, sheltered in Halfmoon Bay.
As predicted, Northerly gale with heavy rain, perfect day to keep resting after a long day paddle.
Wind has gone but sea is still rough on the South Coast of Stewart Island, embed in fog and drizzle. Gentle paddle to Ulva in Paterson Inlet, bird watching day.
When back to Halfmoon Bay, forecast has changed as fast as Southerland winds. There won’t be the nice weather forecasted for Thursday and Friday as expected to paddle the West coast. And I’m not keen on being stopped there for a long term, there are few fisher boats at the moment on the West coast, consequence of the Chinese disease.
Calm and perfect day to cross back the Foveaux Strait to Riverton. But if I’ve picked the right forecast, I have to cope with the tidal stream… First half day against the tide, second one pushed toward Riverton. Long paddle day which lets me admire Stewart Island from offshore, shrouded or partly uncovered by clouds; meet new wild life as Gorfou Fiorlands penguins. Hopefully, It is slack water when I get into Riverton estuary. Warmth welcome of Jacqui and Tim : they help to roll the kayak up their garden where a warm bath is waiting for me in the garden. Then, Tara Mulvany’s parents come for dinner (she has performed the SI circumnavigation in Winter!). Meeting such nice people gets essential for me now, as on my own.
Resting again, wind blows westerly 20 knots at least. Watching the sea state, I’m glad having crossed over the Strait yesterday.