It was with reluctance that we got ourselves away from the Albion Cricket ground camp in Luggate. We had quite a send-off from the local pub. I was introduced to the All Blacks coach of 1983- a very big fellow even now. Any one else just passing through the area would do well to set a camp here.
We’ve made our way from the rain shadow of the southern alps to the west coast, or as it is often called the wet coast. With an average rainfall of 5 metres I guess it is going to rain a bit. We’ve come here to spot dolphins, glaciers and get wet. Mind if you want wild and dramatic beaches with no one on them then that could also be a reason to come. Turner would have used his entire pallet in one sitting. I must admit to loving it. I guess like everything there has to be a down side and that would be me smelling like a urinal. It is the only way to keep the sand-flies from draining you in one fell swoop. One Wanaka wit suggested a mesh barrier for our windscreen; such were the size of the sand-flies here abouts.
We travelled the length of the coast all the way up to the Pancake rocks near West Port. We could have whizzed through in an easy day but it took for ever. Seas of blue or grey, calm or crashing against rocks or sand, the coast was fantastic. I could barely drag Angela away to stare at the amazing temperate rainforests or massive glaciers. We visited the Franz Joseph glacier, walking up the river bed to within a couple of hundred metres of the ice face. Big barriers warned us not to proceed along with newspaper articles explaining who died and when, all from going too close and getting squished from falling ice.
Jacob somehow wrangled a day workshop out of us. We have told him it must be a birthday present or maybe an alternative for horse riding in the future – anyway he got to spend a day at a knife making workshop. Watch the video. It misses out a lot of the end stages, where he had to polish and sharpen but it shows you a little of the day and I think it captures Jacob’s interest in what he was doing.
The guy was very good, for Jacob. I tried to steer Jacob towards a small practical blade. Jacob moaned all day that I kept trying to interfering. Stephen kept me in my place, reminding me that it was Jacob’s knife and he wasn’t in my class – Cheek. It did allow Jacob to make the knife he wanted.When he’ll ever use it I don’t know, but we both had a cracking time, and Jacob wrote three pages of his journal that night, just trying to explain what he had done.