• Penelope Haines

Port Pegasus - Day 5

Updated: Jul 23

Our day started with a walk through the bush to Broad Bay. It intrigues me that getting into the bush above the water level almost always seems to require a rather dodgy climb up a ladder to reach the top of the bank. Today, our access to the bush was up a water-way. Consequently the rocks we had to clamber over to reach said ladder were slippery and treacherous.


Once in the bush a narrow trail ran across the isthmus from South Arm to Broad Bay. Beautiful bush and a reasonably easy track, although muddy in places. It was a much more gentle form of exercise than yesterday’s walk.


When we emerged on the sand at Broad Bay, we found sea-lions also enjoying the area. Four young males and a young female were frolicking in the water – although I suspect the female wasn’t so much playing as being pestered by the males.


After a while curiosity consumed the sea-lions and they came down the beach to examine us. Apparently, size is a sign of dominance. Richard told us that should a sea-lion approach too closely, we were to lift our hiking sticks up, increasing our size, the sea lions would back off. I tried this, and it certainly gave one young beast pause. But, as soon as I turned my back, he followed me (us) for some way into the tussock as we left the beach. Fortunately he gave up and we entered the bush unmolested.


Once we returned to the boat (and I’m always grateful to make it safely across the ladder and rocks to the tender!), we had lunch on board before lifting the anchor and heading for Paterson Inlet where we will camp tonight. They promise us the weather should be kinder this cruise. Nevertheless, Cavan and I have taken our Sea Legs tablets and are already to go.


Six hours later we’re in Paterson Inlet where we moored and had dinner. As a post-prandial exercise we then boarded the tender – most of us with one or more alcoholic drinks inside us! – crossed the inlet and then had a short walk down to ocean beach to spot kiwis. We’d taken the precaution of covering our torches with red cellophane, as apparently the red light doesn’t disturb the birds. I was sceptical. In my experience, wild-life rarely appear on demand. But, by the time we’d walked half the length of the beach, sure enough, there was a large female trotting around on the sand.


Apparently they feed on sand-hoppers, and this bird was busy fossicking through the seaweed to find them. We watched for fifteen minutes or more, and the red light trick must have worked as she certainly wasn’t bothered by us. Unfortunately, the lack of light meant I couldn’t get a decent photo, but what an experience. We all came home buzzing!