• Penelope Haines

Port Adventure to Port Pegasus - Day 3

Updated: Jul 23

None of us are going to starve to death! It was a wonderful, cooked breakfast to start the day. Porridge and cereals. (It’s been years since I indulged in porridge with brown sugar and cream!) Then a cooked breakfast – eggs, hash browns, sausages, bacon and tomatoes.


As soon as the dishes were done, anchor was weighed, and we were out to the open sea on our way down to Port Pegasus. We’ve been warned the seas can rock and roll down in these parts, so Cavan and I are prepared with another dose of Sea-legs and our patches are still in place.


It was a four hour sail to Port Pegasus, and yes, the ship did bump and grind. Still, passing all the islands where Maori have rights to go mutton-birding each year was fascinating. Some of the baches (cribs for my South Island friends), were substantial. If I take no other image of Stewart Island with me,, it will be the mass of islands off the coast. Heck, even the islands have islands – and almost every cove is adorned with one or two.


We broke the journey at the Lord river where we were able to shelter for ten minutes or so from the choppy seas, recover our health and have a cup of coffee or tea,

The staff were good: there was plenty of crystallized ginger to suck or chew and ginger and lemon juice to drink. The seas were rough, depending on where we were in relation to the land, and whether we went with the wind and water, or occasionally, had to cross them which made it rather less comfortable. I believe some passengers were sick, although I didn’t actually see anyone suffering.


We passed through Whale passage into the Port Pegasus waterway, and within minutes the water was quiet, people felt better, and lunch was served.


After lunch we landed, and climbed along a gentle ridge until we reached a plateau that gave tremendous views of Gog, Magog and Bald Cone. The track was overgrown, with tall hebes and manuka that were as tall as I, and a strong underlayer of mosses and ferns. As the ground surface was frequently obscured by all the undergrowth, some care had to be taken not to get your foot caught in tangles of roots across the track. There is no ‘bush’ as we normally understand it. The strong southerly winds that blow across this place must ensure no tall trees stand. All the plants are low, or on a lean. When we reach clear land, the rocks are granite.


In a few places, previous travellers have piled the flat stone layers into cairns. It was a bit of a scramble, but the view was wonderful when we reached the top taking in a wide vista of the rugged granite peaks that frame the landscape.


Then, back to the boat for a shower, and an hour cruising in Port Pegasus’s northern arms. Tomorrow I believe we intend to climb the largest of the peaks. Not sure what I feel about that. I’m fine going up slopes, but I have two left feet when going down again.