An Easter Regatta

Trip Start Sep 09, 2004
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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I made a point of visiting the Sea Kayak company this morning before the cancellation deadline. My foot has gradually started to improve each day over the last few days so by Thursday (fingers crossed) it should be fine. I needed to confirm and secure my place on Thursday's trip so I drove over and did and now it is. I stood for a while chatting to 'Daphne' about the trip and the Fiordlands and I came away completely blown away and excited. She's been Kayaking the Fiordlands for years and says it's totally mind-blowing, not to mention life-changing. This is going to be one hell of an adventure.

Easter here has been a busy, noisy and highly populated few days, mainly by families 'getting away' for the weekend. It's been quite a change really having been fairly quiet for well over a week. It's been good though; I've met Sam and his family, his friend Darren and his family plus a few others. We were sat round talking a couple of nights ago and Sam was telling me how they were here for the 'Easter Regatta'; a yacht race around Lake Te Anau put on each year by the sailing club. It turned out that the final race day was the following morning (Easter Sunday) and Sam asked me if I wanted to come along. I jumped at the chance. I did tell him I was no real use apart from the odd bit of steering or jumping overboard. He said not to worry and that I could 'take charge of the main'. Sam's been sailing for years and the boat he was racing was one he'd built from scratch over the last eight or nine months. So yesterday was quite an exciting day. I managed to send my article to Travelpod as promised before we left for sailing. By 9am I was ready with my waterproofs and it was straight off down to the mariner to jump aboard Sam's speedy yacht. As it turned out, it couldn't have been a worse day for sailing - an exceptionally glorious, sunny day without a single breeze. We only managed to get one race out of the way before the officials called it all off. Most of the morning was spent grazing in the middle of Lake Te Anau surrounded by dozens and dozens of other yachts, chatting to the many random yachtsmen as they gradually drifted past on the last of their momentum. Sam wasn't too pleased with the outcome but I was just chuffed to be out on the lake in the sun admiring the grand slopes of the mad mountain I'd climbed last week with that dead weight on my back. Plus, the first race had given me plenty of fun and excitement; I'd been quite content letting the main out and pulling it in again on Sam's demand or steering while Darren was racing back and forth to the bow to switch lines, gib, tack and a hundred other highly responsible manoeuvres. It was a great morning.

I got back mid-afternoon to find a positive response from Travelpod about the article. They said it was just what they were looking for. I was well chuffed. They also said that they would make a few amendments to the 'spelling' and would let me know when it is published. I'd forgot about the spelling. It's a Canadian website with that all-classic 'American-English'. He also forwarded me a copy of the final article with the spelling amendments in place and it wasn't all that bad. So all's well that ends well - watch this space!

As much as it's become very much 'the norm', I still can't get over how friendly and welcoming people are here. The ones I've gotten to know under the surface have proven to be even warmer; the owners of this place for a start as well as a couple of the locals. Brad's a great fella. We've had a lot of good chats and laughs at random moments. Even the owner of the Mediterranean Deli made a point of shaking my hand the other day, wishing me all the best in case they didn't see me before I left. It's just an amazing place to be; surrounded by happy, friendly, good-hearted people. What more could you ask for?
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