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School vacation, Nordhavn-style

July 23, 2009

(Ed. note: Paige Allard, 12, is currently in the midst of a global circumnavigation with her parents Joan and Roger, on board their Nordhavn 55 New Paige. As host of Nordhavn.com’s popular kids section, Boat Kid Chatter, Paige takes questions from youngsters who are interested in what it’s like to live on a boat: the good, the bad, and the really interesting. Currently in New Zealand, Paige, who is home-schooled, took the time to write about a particularly nifty adventure she recently experienced.)

On a recent school break we decided we would take a trip to Stewart Island at the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand to see our friends Scott and Mary on Egret. It is a long drive from Nelson to Bluff but we managed to do it in 2 days. My parents had arranged a helicopter to take us to Pegasus Bay on Stewart Island (where Scott and Mary were). It was going to be my very first helicopter ride and I was so excited!

We arrived at the heli-pad and unloaded all the luggage from our car, 8 of the 16 bags we brought had fresh produce. Somehow we managed to get all of the bags in with a few on our laps. The helicopter ride was about 30 minutes long and took us to Pegasus Bay. The scenery was beautiful green hills and deep blue seas.  We reached Pegasus Bay all to soon where Scott and Mary were waiting for us in their dingy. We landed on a small cement platform where a hut used to be. We did many things during our trip but some of my favorite things were going on hikes; we tried to find a trail up a mountain but ended up going in circles around the base! We did a lot of dinghy exploring which was really cool. One day when we were dinghy exploring we found a rock that was just barely out of the water I said it looked like a hippopotamus and Scott said it looked like a whale so we called it whale-o-potamus rock. We saw a ton of bird life and sea life, we even had a 5 foot shark swim by the boat and had seals playing with the stern lines! The best part of the trip was the fishing: I caught 6 big blue cod, even my mom caught a few. The trip back in the helicopter was even cooler for we saw two whales and we circumnavigated the island. Stewart Island is definitely one of the highlights of New Zealand.

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