Today we ventured out of the protected anchorage where we had spent one frantic night and two that were very peaceful. We had been tied into the shore at that one spot long enough - looking at the same bits of sodden foliage for three days tends to make you feel stale. So this morning we ventured across the South Arm of Port Pegasus and tied into the shore at Evening Cove. We're in a great little cove in the cliffs here, with nesting pied shags in the trees above and a view out across the Port, where we can watch the whitecaps parade past - the forecast for this evening is west 40 knots - while we bob in a tranquil little patch of water out of the wind.
There are great walking tracks on this side of the Port, up to the granite ridges above us. I can just feel how expansive the views of southern Stewart Island must be from up there. But though we came to this new spot with the thought that we'd be able to explore Port Pegasus for a few more days, plans have changed. We smell the possibility of a window to get down to the Aucklands coming up next weekend, and to catch that window we have to take care of formalities in Bluff by Friday, and what with winds and tides and an intervening gale on Thursday, we'll have to start back to Bluff tomorrow. It's a funny thing - there's every chance that we'll never visit Stewart Island again, but we've spent our time here always a bit distracted by our plans for the next step.
So, another somewhat rowdy day in the offing for us tomorrow, but wind and tide should be with us to get around the corner to the east coast of Stewart. And now it's time for me to dip the fuel tank and top up the oil and get some sleep.