I will begin with my cough. It’s disturbing to me and to the others. While I am better, I still have fits of coughing. Jonathon, our resident physician, says what I need now is just a cough suppressant and that the cough is the end of this thing, but will last for several more days. If it gets worse, I will seek regular medical help here.

Yesterday, we left the motel at around 8:00 and got down to the ferry landing at Lake Manapuri for what we thought was 9:15 ferry departure, but schedules had changed and boat left at 9:45. It’s an hour to cross the lake. Then we boarded a bus and it’s another hour to go over the pass to get to Deep Cove for our boat. The forest along the way and its trees, especially the beach, were the inspiration for the Ents in the Lord of the Rings movies. Lots of good views in the various stops we made.

The boat we were on is run by Real Journeys, and I think it’s the same boat I was on in 2012. Great crew with David as the captain and Jackie as crew and chef. To say we ate well is an understatement. Lunch of seafood pasta followed by baked cupcakes later. In between, David put on wet suit and scuba gear, Jackie took him out on a dingy, and he went underwater to get the allowed limit of male crawfish (NZ lobster). There was also a futile effort to fish later. And David took us out of the sound to the edge of the Tasman Sea where we circled an island with lots of fur seals on it. Rougher water out there. Then back into the sound.

Supper consisted of a cheese platter, tomato soup, half a lobster (and OMG are they wonderful), salad, blue cod (they had caught some earlier) w/potatoes, warm pudding w/whipped cream. After dinner, we continued our conversation from the previous night where we all shared how we got into photography. Now we discussed what we want to do with our images, what our goals are, and things like the question of what is art. Got to know our group quite well being with them in a boat for 24 hours.

I was in a cabin with Jeff and Donna … I had the upper bunk. Slept fitfully. Had to climb down several times to pee, trying not to step on Jeff in the dark. Not bathroom in this cabin, so had to go to one on the back deck.

Now, all this while we cruised on the sound with its snow-capped mountains and waterfalls. Been here before, but one cannot get tired of the grandeur of the place. At night, we were moored and it was very clam.

Got up finally at 6:30. This far south, the Sun does not come up until 8:20. Visited with a few others who were also up. Then it was “first breakfast” of cereals, yogurt, and toast. Around 11:00 we had “second breakfast” which included lobster scrambled eggs. Around 3:00 we had fresh scones, whipped cream, and jam. As I said, we were fed well and often.

The weather the day before was drizzly quite a bit. Today it was mostly sunny and we got great views of fresh snow on the mountains, lots of low lying clouds, waterfalls with rainbows, etc. Hard not to take a zillion images. Pretty stunning experience.

Back to Deep Cove at 3:00, bus over the pass, ferry across the lake … arrived around 5:00. Fiona and Sharron were waiting for us and we drove two hours to Gore and the Heartland Croydon Gore motel. Had a very strange buffet which included cold sliced ham, beef curry, sort of a paella. Need I say more?

Back to my room to write this and do some laundry and download images. Then a shower, shave, and bed. Luggage has to be ready tomorrow at 8:30 for our drive to Dunedin. 

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