August Trip To Able Tasman
August Trip To Able Tasman
Five of us stumbled into Abel Tasman in the dark - banks of phosphorescing glow-worms on one side, piping oystercatchers on the other. Later when the other four found us, we had wine by candlelight then slept under clouds and picnic tables.
Next morning it was raining, but this did'nt deter Oliver as he demonstrated advanced frisbee skills to the uninitiated. We spent a gruelling three hours on the track, spurred along only by the thought of the next acid-drop stop. When we arrived at Anchorage Bay Hut, no-one could have guessed the drama we were about to be caught up in. While Marilyn dozed off with her folder in her mouth and the rest of us read around the stove, Oliver and Bill braved the storm to go fishing off the rocks. They chanced to see a fishing boat in distress near the rocks, and rushed back to recruit reluctant volunteers - all nine of us rushed into the churning waters, and within minutes had saved the boat. That night we dined on coleslaw and wine and lulled our young hut- page 23 page 24 page 25mates to sleep with Scottish folksongs, hymns, rounds, arias, choruses, ballads, ditties, anthems, and Wombles of Wimbledon, (all with intricate harmonies ).
Next morning, brilliant sunshine! We spent the morning fishing, wood chopping, cavorting in the sand and frolicking in the surf with three frisbees, wrestling with sandflies. Imagine our surprise when the boat owner and his friend appeared and offered to take some of us scalloping! While Janet and Bryan learned how to dredge for scallops, the rest of us played Soccer Game Number One; Foster's fancy footwork dazzled the crowds. Late in the afternoon we were ferried across to Bark Bay! A local inhabitant wandered up to us as we were fishing from the rocks. He was collecting sea eggs and guessed that we came from Victoria even though he didn't know where Wellington was.
That was the afternoon that Sue discovered how sharp granite rocks can be, and the night that Janet was courtmartialled by a Weka-court for the unmentionable crime. We had a sumptuous five-course meal including scallop entree, and coleslaw of course.
Next day still shining - some of us went fishing. Many hooks, lines, sinkers, pieces of bait, and patiences were lost, but it all proved worthwhile when Janet caught the first and only fish of the trip - so her lemon and tinfoil did not go to waste. Before leaving for Anchorage via Torrent Bay inlet we had a quick frisbee with the local wekas. En route Bill took a quick plunge into an icy waterfall ( - Bill will do anything for a chocolate fish ). That night back at Anchorage the versatility of the common frisbee was demonstrated yet again, when a cheesecake was made in it. It had already proved itself as a plate, fire-fanner, lethal weapon, toy and boomerang.
The next morning was predictable - we were already taking for granted the sunshine, swimming, blister-free feet, fishless waters, TVP-less meals, and the generally relaxing pace of the trip. Marilyn's swot was going according to schedule, Janet doodled while pretending to write an essay, while Sue had given up any pretence of doing so. For variation we had a Still Life sand-modelling competition, and a game of hopscotch.
We left for Appletree Bay and had lunch at Stilwell Bay. As we sat eating, an immense soccer field arose out of the sea.page 26
Soccer Match Two was played with four on each side, plus one reserve - just as well too; we needed the reserve for injury replacement; that match was the toughest part of the trip - what a bloodb th. Even the oyster-catchers couldn't take it - the for their lives - the one-legged one hopped. We hobbled round to Appletree Bay over the rocks, passing a flowering rata, and a millipede devouring a slug, on the way. We camped in a grove of pines - not an appletree in sight.
After an evening of mouthorganing, walks, shell gathering and pinecone-ing, we sat down to our last supper - no coleslaw and a bucket of very solid chocolate instant pud. The sky clouded over, and we danced frantically on the sand, until one by one our sparklers fizzled out. We had our final burst of religious and patriotic music in drizzle. In the middle of the night our tent was attacked by a very large, ferocious 'possum.
Amazing - sun had reappeared come the morning, and we practised some one-fingered frisbee-catching. We walked out accompanied by Bill's full repertoire of Dylan. As we waited for the taxis we compared tans and battlescars. Frisbees came out of packs and Janet introduced a couple of horses to acid drops. Despite U.S.S.Truxton and the ferry stoppage we all got home safely.
Those on the trip were: Marilyn, Janet, Bryan, Bill, Oliver, Bronwen, Prue, Sue;
and Ruth who wrote this.