Yeah i know its been while. So to bring y’all up to speed.
Have had quite a few adventures in the past few weeks. Before that though. I have been really busy at work with lots of school groups. One such group was a all girls high school group of 30. YIKES. 30 H/S seniors for 3 days & camping out with them. All started on a sunday, meeting them off the ferry then taking a water taxi to our location/base for the next 3 days. Julie (Co-guide, who is from Canada) and i were with them the entire 3 days camping out. Then with various other guides coming in to make up the safety ratios.
On the 1st day we sea kayaked a little, to get them use to their boats etc. Day 2 was mtn biking. We spilt them into 2 groups. I took the advanced group and we biked the Queen Charlotte Track. John took the slower group and Julie drove the SAG Vehicle. Julie and i shared the logistics for the whole trip and it wa sfun to work with someone so professional and we complemented each other well. Our mtn bike day didnt go without a hitch as i had one girl endo over her handle bars on her descent to bump her head etc. We have a rule at our job that if you bump your head… its game over, no matter what. Of cours we were all wearing helmets. its the law here, makes sense too. So we had to get her off the track, one of the teachers, walked her out with another student and i radioed Julie to come get her. Then another girl (not with my group) ate the gravel road really bad, and after a while the work truck Julie was driving was rather full. But considering it all everyone was ok, and the girls i was with did outstandingly well. They rode for a total of 7 hours that day… breed em’ tough in NZ.
The 3rd day was spent paddling back to Picton and base… IN A GALE!!! no joke perhaps the strongest weather i have paddled in the Marlborough Sounds. A little scary at times, but everyone survived, a little chilly at the end, but happy and great sense of acomplishment.
That has been the work adventures, or some of them, lots of other school group, and off to do another one thursday and friday. Before heading off to the mountains and Nelson Lake National Park this weekend. Which is BTW about 60mins up the road to complete in a 25Km trail run race. Forecast… SNOW. should be fun. These lake are high alpine lakes and winter is coming, had a few falls up there already, and here comes the next one. Robin and i are both looking forward to going up there, as she has never visited this NP before and saturday night i think we will camp out in the weather somewhere… love it. Now that all our stuff is here, we are ready to go and that is what we have been basically doing. Any opportunity we can get we are out there.
About a week about i went on a massive run up one of the peaks in the Richmond Range to the west of us. I was at the trailhead in 45 mins and running shortly after. This range of mountains, while not high, rises quickly from the valley in which we live in. Check out these photos. Pretty much ran the whole way to the summit. Got there in 2hrs 10mins, when the sign read 6hrs to the summit. So my mtn running legs are feeling good.
Then the best advenuture recently was just this past few days. Robin and i took 3 days and explored the outer edge of Port Underwood, which is a south facing bay (which is strange b/c most here in NZ face, North, east or west) it connect to form the eastern edge of the Marlborough Sounds. So after church sunday we bolted to Robin Hood Bay to put in for our adventure keen to explore the outer edge which is basically the open Pacific Ocean, next stop Chile South America. This coastline is very rugged and wild and desolate. But for the few people who go here the speak of the wonderful huge sea caves that you can paddle into. So you guessed it, when i heard about these i was planning this trip.
Sunday afternoon was a little rough paddling across Port Underwood into a really strong Northerly. We were paddling a double with Robin at the front constantly getting swamped by big waves. We found a somewhat sheltered place to camp. Well not really all the sheltered spots were on that rugged coastline with massive sea cliffs and so no where to camp. We struggled to put the tent up, ate, and went to bed. The wind rocked the tent all night, and there were a few moments when i thought we would take off.
After waking early Monday & getting the marine forecast on the radio we set off around the southern edge of Port Underwood to find these elusive caves.
WOW… and what caves they were, huge, and numerous is the best way to describe it. One after another and then another. i will let the pictures do the talking. Some so huge we could fit an entire 2 person sea kayak in there. We also saw some albatross, and of course lots of seals. The coastline was amazing and absolutely no one there. Then to our south the hills that surround our home and the high peaks behind them… our next adventure.
hoping to post more now work has calmed down some. But check out these photos… ENJOY