A few minutes into our trip Henk called from the back, "I think there's a hole in the boat." I said, "that can't be! it must be water coming in through your sprayskirt." After some pumping and insistence on his part, we stopped at a small beach, emptied the cockpit, and checked to see if it would refill. Sure enough, water quickly began trickling into the rear cockpit. We considered continuing with wet butts, but given the rainy/cool forecast, we decided it would be smart to call for a replacement. Jo was very apologetic, even offering to deliver us a new kayak on her motor boat. We declined and agreed to meet her at the launch in 10 minutes.
I should, at some point, mention how beautiful this paddle was. With the exception of Manapouri village, the lake is undeveloped. Steep green mountains rise from all sides, and low hanging clouds drift casually in the valleys. Parts of the lake are lined by steep rocky cliffs, but there are plenty of pocket beaches to explore. We paddled between many little islands. We saw no other paddlers, and virtually no other boats (with the exception of little Pearl Harbor).
Then, the sand flies came out with a vengeance. Sand flies, you may not know, make red bites remarkably similar to the bed bug bite photos on the internet. We had been dealing with them ever since we reached the west coast of the South Island, and it occured to me that it was roughly around that time that I began noticing red bites on my stomach/back (and legs/arms/everywhere). We pulled out our various bug repellents and tried to keep them at bay, but it was a battle.
That's all for New Zealand posts! It's time to settle back into the darkness/wetness that is Dutch winter, at least for two more months.
Photos of Fiordland National Park and the East Coast
Duration: 2 hrs of paddling each day
Distance: 10 km + 11 km (13 miles total)
Weather: Sometimes rainy, sometimes sunny