2008-01-31. The Crossing. Day Fifteen.

I woke several times in the middle of the night to the sounds of the city; sirens, race cars, people screaming and shouting however still managed to get up in time to be the first one in line for the bus.
Being the first in line does not always mean that you are the first one on. When the bus arrived I was the last one in line. The bus trailer with all of the travelers luggage was nearly full and my bags were heavy.
What the hell, I heaped my 70 pound travel bags on top of everyone else’s, shouldn’t hurt anything. I then found a standing spot on the bus where I figured that no matter how many more people got on the bus I wouldn’t have to move. The second stop on the bus route had the foreign tourist filled shuttle bus shoulder to shoulder and found me in my own protective nook.
I booked my ferry ride the night before at the hostel’s front desk. $52.00NZD and I would be able to ride the cruiseliner for three and a half hours across the Cook Straight alongside thousands of other foreign toursits.
The bus dropped us at the ferry wharf where Erika and I checked our bags, got some coffee, and explored the boat for our most ideal vantage points.
Erika is the Pacific Challenge’s travel photography professor. Her and I are good enough with a camera and decided to choose opposite ends of the boat for our ride and to meet at the luggage claim in Picton.
I found the boat ride pleasant. I had the time to get caught up on my writing, to download photos and video from my camera’s, to enjoy a Speight’s and to even get in some time to photograph parts of the journey.
I saw heaps of jelly fish from my perspective on the sun deck on the back of level seven, and saw a school of sea fishes when our boat was backing up to dock. I collected my keys from the check-in window at the Picton Interislander wharf and Erika and I met at the luggage claim and then were off to find our rental car that would take us to Abel Tasman for a few of with group three.
I found the four door red 2001 Toyota Corolla parked in the farthest away spot in the long term parking, jumped in, fired up the A/C, and loaded the car with our luggage and was off along Queen Charlotte’s Drive into Havelock.
Queen Charlotte’s Drive is a great way to get settled into New Zealand’s roads. The road is narrow and winds along the cliffs of several fiords. The speed limit is 100km, although that speed limit is entirely ridiculous.
We stopped in Havelock to have a break from the crazy road and made our way into Marahau by 3.50pm. Our first stop was the Water Taxi station where we just barely made a booking for the last taxi of the night into Abel Tasman. Our other option was to walk into camp for four hours. We both chose the $25NZD ticket on the boat.
We arrived in the Anchorage with enough time to set-up camp, eat, and to have a bit of a swim. I even found the time to fish with Rob and Wes of group 2. I did not catch anything however felt the nibble of 12-inch snapper on my loaner six-weight fly rod baited with Gulp as well as to read a few pages out of a romance novel alongside the fire.