Yesterday I did a late-ish amble back along the beach and with the tide fully out I scored another feed of mussels and zipped around the point without even getting my feet much wet. If you time it then the remaining short stroll to the campsite is almost fully beach rather than a rock hop as on the way up.

A few startled seals that furiously maggot their way to the safety of the water, it’s the ones basking on the other side of the rock that gets the biggest fright, certainly not me.

The sea this morning is still dead calm and it’s been surprisingly warm, I’m looking out to sea with the sun on my back, puffy clouds on the horizon, blue sky to be seen, although if I look too much to the north it remains densely grey. To the south the black just beyond Karamea on show but fortunately, due to some closer landscape feature, I don’t have to look directly at the heathy bluff climb I’ll be engaged with this afternoon.

It’s moved around to a 6 pm low tide to cross the Heaphy River, high tide that is around noon but what better place to practice some patience than this log overlooking the Tasman Sea.

I’ve now had more nights over on the coast, four, than many spend walking the track, three, the groups I started with last week long finished, and, being Monday morning, back at work, the ones I’ll spend tonight with at Heaphy hadn’t even started my first night over here.

An indulgence to spend so much time pottering around getting my feel for New Zealand, well, maybe but I know I’d be restless if I hadn’t explored some of these places, experiences out of the system, at least with some time over here I’ve acquired a feeling for the coast, at least when it’s in its benign phase.

After 11 am it’s right on full high tide, guess I need another three hours for the ebb to get me around the last of the rugged rocks then the massive effort to get up over the saddle at the Bluff.

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