March 3, 2002 - Leaving Stewart Island

The day was very wet as it rained all night, including a rather severe thunderstorm early in the morning. It then was a series of passing squalls all day long, withe stroing winds. The strength wasn't truly experienced until the ferry back to Bluff.

This older couple, from Santa Fe, that I met yesterday came by Valerie's little coffee shop and I sat and chatted with them and the woman guide from Colorado, Talie Morrison, who stayed last night. We talked about places in New Zealand and in the Southwestern US, right up until I left for the boat. They are an interesting couple. They are seventy-five and are in New Zealand celebrating their 50th anniversary. They've been coming to NZ for the past five years to travel though. I hope that we are in as good shape as these folks when we're 75. They have a "hobby ranch" outside of Santa Fe; a mere 2000 acres. They mentioned their various neighbors who have real ranches of about 100,000 acres. Life is different in the southwest.

Those pictures in the magazines and around-the-world sailing films of the waves in the Southern Ocean have always been awe-inspiring. I now know what they look like up close. As you may notice from the map, Stewart Island sticks out into the Roaring 40's. They were roaring today as we crossed the strait to Bluff. The ferry is a god-sized power catamaran and just charged across, but there was a lot of water spraying over the afterdeck. I was a little queasy by the time we arrived in Bluff.

When I