George Sound

Is one of the longer fjords – about 20 km long and splits into 2 short arms at it's head. We headed for Anchorage Cove about half way down the fjord – a very secluded cove with a hawser on to which, after a while figuring out how the whole lot worked, we tied bow and stern. This turned out to be one of many such anchorages set up by local fishermen. We had just settled for the evening when a couple of motor boats appeared (Greta and Sanvaro II) - hoping that this was not their mooring we ventured into the cockpit and asked the question.

Greta and Sanvaro II

Fortunately they were also visitors and told us that these moorings were avaialble to anyone on a 'first come first served' basis and proceeded to tie up behind us. Turned out to be 6 men on their annual ‘boys own' outing – fishing, camping, tramping, diving and hunting which they had been doing for the past 25 years! They kept out of the anchorages until late in the evening and left in the early mornings to avoid the sand flies. We said goodbye to them early the following morning only to be surprised when after breakfast, they came back to ask if we wanted to go with them - they were going diving for crayfish. An offer we couldn't refuse but I think they weren't expecting us to dive so were a bit concerned when we grabbed our own dive gear and hopped on board their boats! However once we explained to them that we were reasonably experienced with many dives under our belts they relaxed.

Jean donning 7mm thick wet suit and Matt with the cray with the broken claw

We spent a great day with them – they knew the best spots for the crays so we were easily able to collect our quota of 6 per person per day - just like picking them off the supermarket shelves! At one point I was in stitches as I watched Matt pick a huge cray and after one of it's claws broke off he struggled with the claw to try to dislodge it from his glove - not an easy task underwater as well as trying to get the rest of it screaming and kicking into his booty bag! We had a great lunch of freshly caught lobster and paua burgers. After diving for crayfish and an unsuccessful attempt to find scallops and to our amazement, one of them donned rifle and was dropped off in the late afternoon to go hunting for deer!

Now for the hunting bit - John dons his rifle and wades ashore!

However he came back a few hours later empty handed. As it was Rosco's birthday and as a token of appreciation for the day (any excuse for a celebration), I made a birthday cake and we celebrated on board Superted until the wee small hours.

Rosco and his birthday cake and Phillip, Rosco and Graham back on board their boats in the wee small hours!

The following day we headed up one of the arms to Alice falls which (due to the lack of rain!!) was not at its best but we were able to clamber over the rocks to the lake at the top. There is a DOC hut at the head of this arm where some trampers were collected (presumably after completing the George Sound track from Lake Te Anau) by helicopter – a normal form of transport for this area!

We were able to climb up the rocks at Alice falls as there had not been much rain and helicopter airlift for trampers!

Little did I know that it wouldn't be long before I was also taking this form of transport to get me out of a fjord - but you'll have to read all about that in the next flotsam!

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