Stewart Island Day -1

I met with Phil and John for prayer this morning before we joined Richard Johnson and local Kaumatua Bubba Thompson for the flight to Stewart Island.

The trip across Foveaux Strait is made by either a swift catamaran ferry service or by Britten Norman Islander aircraft. Both cost about the same and both are at times equally adventurous. We are hedging our bets, flying to and boating from the Island. This morning was still and calm and I had the favoured seat, the one next to the pilot with all the knobs and dials and so forth spread out in front of me and the startling scenery passing a thousand feet below and visible on three sides.

We were met by old friends, Peter and Iris Tait, and taken to the Tait's place for coffee. Peter and Iris run an exquisitely laid out B&B operation as well as a charter boat service. Both are a fund of information about Stewart Island and a hour or so slipped happily by as they caught us up with what had been happening since I was last here. Around lunchtime we were taken to the predator free wildlife sanctuary of Ulva Island for a short tour, guided by Wynston Cooper, and then I was dropped at my accommodation, Andy and Jo's B&B. This is an old villa, stuffed with books and curios, run by gentle, intelligent, enquiring people: yet another two of those larger than life characters who make up the community of this astonishing place.

This evening there was a pot luck dinner in the RSA hall. The Anglican and Presbyterian congregations were both present along with a number of other folk. This was the first time in many years that the two Island Churches had met together for a social function. Coming together for the Hikoi has been another step in a rapidly growing rapport. The food was superb and plentiful. The conversations were long and relaxed. Phil gave a brief history of the Church Army and  I spoke about the reasons we are makig this pilgrimage. We were met by enormous good will on every side. and many of those present will turn up tomorrow morning when the Hikoi begins at Wohler's Cross.


Merv said…
Thanks for the update. Sounds like a wonderful beginning.
[& as far away from Lusi as possible]