I was up, packed and checked out by 6:50am waiting for the shuttle when at 6:55 the hostel got a call from the Interislander Ferry to say the crossing was delayed until 12:00 as the sea was still very rough and the new pick-up time for the shuttle was 10:00am. Eventually I got to the ferry terminal as another hail storm passed over just before we boarded and finally cast off at 12:30pm. I managed to snap a few photos as we were leaving before the weather got bad and they closed the doors.
I went to sit in one of the lounges near the front which was dramatic as we left the safety of the harbour into the 5 metre swells of the Cook Strait and spray was thrown up high above the bow and then crashed down covering the windows completely. A steward had warned that the front of the ship was the worst place for seasickness as it moves the most and sure enough I started to feel a little queasy so I reclined my chair and tried to sleep. Soon enough though we were into the calm waters of the Marlborough Sounds and the sun was shining and I was out on deck again to get some shots of us docking in Picton, an impressive bit of helming as the captain reverse parked the Kaitaki ferry.
Having been delayed an extra day in Wellington we had missed our Magic Bus connection the day before so we had to overnight in Picton which turned out to be not such a bad option. The Sequoia Lodge van was waiting to collect us from the ferry terminal, there was a roaring wood fire in the lounge and a very homely feel to the backpackers. To top it off they have FREE home-made chocolate pudding and ice-cream every night which was delicious.
Before that though I made the most of what was left of the afternoon, despite the delays, and walked through the mariner to get some photos of the sunset as it was a beautiful evening.