It’s calm out there on the bay. We have a 2.5 hour kayaking trip planned starting about an hour from when I’m writing this. I’m on a trip of adventure and discovery. Yet my mind and body are drawn back to the present and the most recent shooting. The one in CT. The one with all the children. The one in a school where they had security measures only to be thwarted as most can be. And I will go back to the USA tomorrow and go through a series of screenings of person and luggage to deal with past threats and actions.

The blogs, Facebook, news are filled with the current tragedy. Why is it that the slaughter of these young children and their teachers brings out such an outpouring when we are deluged every day with suicide bombings, assassinations, rocket fire into one country with retaliation by the other, one sect or religion trying to wipe out another, innocents caught in the crossfire of war? Do we have the same outrage for those as well? I don’t see it. It’s not “us.” Oh, yes it is.

The journey out the bay on calm water and coming toward the beach with the wind at our backs was tranquil. Val was in the bow, and I had the stern and rudder. Barbie was in a separate kayak as was our guide, Kaitlin (from Minnesota). The smooth waters, huge kelp beds, surrounding rocks, colorful buoys off the charter boats, the town getting smaller behind us, and the exercise of propelling and maneuvering the kayak all flushed the anxiety from my body and brain. A moment where only the present is in focus.

We got back to the lodge about 11:30. Furhana, bless her, was there to cart us up the hill in her van. While the boathouse is near us, it’s at the bottom of our very steep hill and we were all tired. Val did a terrific job as did I getting us to where we wanted to be from shore out to the point where one would leave the bay for open water and back again.

Put a load of wet clothes into the washing machine. Sat for a while waiting to put stuff in the dryer, and then headed downhill to lunch at a French creperie. The ladies stayed down there while I came back.  The day, which had started out totally sunny and warm turned gray, chilly, and rainy. No late sunset today, just a fading from gray to black.

Final dinner in town at South Sea Hotel. I had green lip mussels to start followed by local crayfish.


·      Got eaten alive on my ankles this morning on the beach even with the special insect repellant they have here for the sandflies.
·      Only about 500 people live on Stewart Island. Hard to hide here.
·      Summer brings lots of people under the age of 35 to work here. Have had wait staff fro Chile, Slovenia, Germany, the US, etc. While sometimes it’s hard to understand what a native NZ person says to you, it’s even harder with some of the ones from Europe.
·      Having the phone with me was good. Ends up toward the last of the trip I used Skype to call the US rather than the phone since it’s free and I had Internet Wi-Fi and no telephone service. I used the iPhone for local calls and it was handy.
·      The pace of this last week was quite different than the first two weeks not only given just four of us, but also what we did and how we did it. Was fun just the four of us.

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