Monday, January 12, 2009

Port Pegasus

In our last update we were waiting for some suitable weather to have a go at climbing Magog, one the granite peaks around here. Well, we gave up waiting for some good weather and just went. We started off with rain which progressed to a downpour! There is a good track from Cook Arm (Sealers) unfortunately we started from Evening Cove so at times it was a bit of a bash through the scrub but nothing too bad. In the afternoon it stopped raining and we made it most of the way (bar about the last 10m)
to the top of Magog, it was just a bit too windy to get right to the top. On the way back down we noticed that the clouds had cleared and we had views back into Pegasus and out to the west coast. We then decided to go back up to the top to see if we could get a better view- nope still in the clouds! On the way up we had crossed a small stream in a little gully followed by a bit of a boggy area, on the way back down we found we were faced with a lake and a manuka filled river. Nothing for it but to
wait, or in our case wait a bit then walk up the stream a bit to see if we could cross further up -nope, ok try walking all the way back down to the head of Cooks Arm, nope definitely can't cross there so back up and wait a bit more. The level was actually dropping quite rapidly so eventually we got back across without a problem and were able to get back home without incident.

We have spent the last few days anchored in Disappointment Cove or Peacehaven as it is sometimes known as it is reputed to be the best spot in Pegasus to hide from the weather. From the anchorage there is a short walk across to a sandy beach on the ocean side of the island. This beach is frequented by sea lions which we gave a wide berth to on our walk along it! On two evenings we went for a walk across the island at dusk, on one occasion Jim was rewarded with the sight of a kiwi in the undergrowth,
on the second night we had to settle for a nice sunset.

The weather has finally looked up and we have had a couple of days where the sun has shown itself! A nice change! We picked a nice day for a walk up to Bald Cone with good views of Port Pegasus. On another day we went for a couple of dives. The first dive was in the South Passage just to see what was there, a nice dive but not quite up to Fiordland standards. We finished off the tanks looking for scallops in a spot which had been recommended to us. We got some scallops and also noticed the most definite
cut-off from the brown fresh water to the clear salt that we have seen yet. Ironically we got back to the yacht at low tide and noticed that there were scallops within easy reach underneath us!

Today we moved to an anchorage just outside of Port Pegasus, Small Craft Retreat. We are anchored off a small island in crystal clear water with views back up to the Tin Range in the distance. On the way round we saw hoiho (yellow-eyed penguins) for the first time this trip, 4 or 5 of them, I'm not sure where they've been hiding previously! We went for a paddle in the dinghy and were investigated by an inquisitive sea lion, we would have thought he was quite big except there was a much bigger one
swimming around, so we assumed the 'friendly' one was a juvenile. He seemed quite interested in the dinghy and we thought this was quite cute to begin with. He then bared his teeth at us and went jumping through the water with his mouth wide open, up till then we weren't sure who was the more nervous, us or him but that settled the matter - definitely us! I had been thinking of going for a swim but the water doesn't look quite as appealing anymore! As I write this he is still swimming around and
periodically calls past to check us out, even once almost standing up in the water to see on board.

Tomorrow we will probably head north again to Lords River. Hope the New Year has started well for everybody.


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