Sailors Wouldn’t Even Drink It

Tuesday night i will have my 1st night out on the trail. As part of a guided walk on the Queen Charlotte Walkway (or trail) which is the big hiking trail around these parts. Its about 71Km long and goes from point to point. The start (for most people) is at Ships Cove, where Captain Cook the first white person to land in NZ came ashore.

I am very much enjoying reading a lot the history of this part of NZ, especially about early explorers and their interactions with our indigenous people or Maori. Captain Cook first arrived in the South Island in January 1770 and stayed for about 20-something days. He made several other trips always coming back to the same Ships Cove. In part because of the good relations he had with local Maori, access to food and the cove was a great place to beach his ship the Endeavor on its side for repairs. One quirky story about Cook was that he was well known for taking good care of his crew, especially in preventing the onset of scurvy which many sailors faced because of the lack of fresh fruit and vegetables on the long journeys at sea. Cook took many different measures to prevent this, one which included having his crew make, brew and drink beer from the NZ Manuka Tree or Tea Tree. Strangely though his crew really disliked the taste of it, however he still made them drink it to ensure they were getting some of nutrients they needed. Who ever heard of a sailor or the like not having a taste for beer.

I will be out on the trail tuesday night, and back home wednesday afternoon. However this trail is being done the easy way for the hikers we are taking. All we and them have to carry is a day pack and all our clothes get transported each day by the boat and all our meals are cooked for us. AND… i get to sleep in a real bed in my own room,in a real fancy lodge i here.

In case you think this is all work and no play. I will tell you that i spend the last 90mins to 2hrs of my day each day i work, hosing and cleaning sea kayaks and washing stinky PFD’s and spray decks from the boats. So not all work and no play

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