Drizzle in the morning. Not so good.

I started slowly. Not wanting to wet my feet again, the Duck Creek water hadn’t quite penetrated my boots due to my gaiters, I crossed the bridge away from the beach and took the quad bike track. This didn’t seem to be heading in any direct manner to the beach, so I cut into the dunes and made my way across the barren sand. This is the area where marram grass has been eradicated over the last 20 years, and it resembles images taken by the Mars Rover expedition.

Super easy walking with no dunes to climb. I’ve done my share of that yesterday.

One kākāriki was seen on the edge of the forest. Actually, over the course of this expedition I generally heard them on multiple times each day, and seemed to spot one or two in flight every second day. Seems to be plenty around.

One thing, where the wind was behind me yesterday, today it was in my face, ie, directly from the South Pole. Still consistently drizzling.

My shortcut through the dunes saved getting my feet wet at the mouth of Duck Creek, where the sand dunes have at a lot of erosion in recent years. Where once you could bound down to the beach is now a considerable cliff.

I detoured up to Martin Creek Hunters Hut, but turned off too soon. Two creeks are right next to each other and I should have gone up the second one. That required a short scrub bash, even though I could see the hut from the top of the sand dune.

Borrowing a book, I then had more of that face full of the elements as I went down to Cavalier Creek along the beach. My idea was to zip over to Doughboy if the weather improved, having cut around three hours of walking out of the Masons to Doughboy day, or turn around if it didn’t.

As soon as I made it to the Cavalier Hunters Hut it started raining properly, and it hasn’t stopped subsequently. Looks like the weather gods are not looking favourably at my proposed itinerary.

Plan B is to head back towards Freshwater, but with too much more rain it will probably be well flooded. So no hurry there.

Hopefully, the rain will stop and I won’t need to have another night at desolate Mason Bay Hut.

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A guide to the night’s accommodation: Cavalier Hunters Hut

exterior Cavalier Hunter's hut, Mason Bay, Stewart Island
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