The next morning I was again woken by the fishing boats engines, and by 8.30am despite a late and drunken night they were all steaming off, either to check their cray pots or to head back to Bluff. I heard the final antics of the night being retold on the VHF (and the story of Pee-pee), and then took a lovely short but hot shower on the barge. (Casey, one of the fisherman had told me how to operate it and said I was welcome to use it which was fantastic!)
First off I headed to Preservation Lodge in Kisbee Bay, where the fishermen had said they would likely welcome visitors as they don't get many. There was a new caretaker and no-one had met him yet. He made it very clear that casual visitors and boaties were not welcome there, stating he was under strict instructions from the owners to not let any boaties in otherwise things may get stolen! There was a lady that had joined him for his 3 month stint as caretaker at the lodge – she was in her 70s and had come away seeking one last big adventure. Three and a half weeks in, and she promptly told me that although she hated to give up, she was unsure if she could last the full 3 months there as she was finding him intolerable! She was a kind lady who gave up a lot of her time volunteering, and I told her about the fishermen and that I know they would be happy to assist in her escape from there. After inviting me in for a forbiden cup of tea, she walked me back out to my dinghy and bade me farewell – it would be interesting to know if she contacts them, although she appeared an independent lady so I'm guessing she'll call a helicopter out to extract her before too long. (I heard enquiries being made re a helicopter flight a few days later on the VHF, so I assume she made it out).
Next stop was Isthmus Sound where I had planned to moor and then take the dinghy to a track to the disused Tarawera smelter and chimney, built in 1911 to serve the gold mining that was carried out in the inlet at that time. But by this time the wind had got up and was gusting into the anchorage and I decided I wasn't happy leaving Honey there with me not on board. I headed back to the barge to be safely tucked up before the storm forecast for that evening hit. When I arrived Southerly (fishing boat with Rex, Casey and Floyd) had already returned from a very short day, and soon after Glory Days (with Shannan, aka Shitbox) arrived from Bluff. I was asked about my visit to Preservation Lodge – Rex was rather amused as he is good friends with one of the owners. They are planning to head over there and park themselves one day with a couple of crates of beer, and see how the caretaker likes it! With another evening of beers and banter, I headed off to bed.