Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Fri 1 Aug 2014 22:57
Slope Point – the Southernmost Tip of Mainland New Zealand
1 As we approached, the brave trees should have given us fair warning................
2 Bear couldn’t open his door as the wind was holding it firmly closed.
3 I couldn’t shut my jacket as my scarf was causing me bodily harm.
4 This was us twenty minutes walk from the cliff edge.
5 We saw the state the only other people here came back in, fought to get in their car, drive away with nary a look left or right.
Let’s do it. Fair enough, lead on. Slope Point is the most southerly point of New Zealand’s South Island.
This has not been put on. Bear had to take his glasses off, his retaining string flew over his head and the glass caught the wind and vertical disappearance occurred. Safely recovered and stowed in his pocket. He held my camera for me. Despite its incredible weight it too went vertical. I am now considering this venture as folly. Listen, we’re here now, lets get to the end of this field and reconsider. It doesn’t look far after all.
We got halfway across the sheep field, no wonder lamb shank hasn’t got much fat on it from these parts, even they have to lean into the wind. We could see Stewart Island in the distance. Not sure about crossing in a small ferry. Not sure about those who fear flying doing it in a small airplane. What the picture cannot show is the condition of the sea, there were plumes coming off the tightly packed white horses, only seen in severe gale conditions. It is so windy the sea almost looks flat. Oh I forgot to put some more numbers above.
6 This area has over three hundred days a year of storm warnings.
7 Hardy people take on living in this sort of area, only fifty eight live in a four mile radius from this point.
We made it to the end of the field. Bear used the fence posts to support him to near the edge. I took this shot of a wave bouncing back from the cliff.
This is angry business. The noise was deafening. I stood braced, my back to the wind, legs set akimbo – the wind actually moved me a few inches forward. There were a few bad words blown away forever and at that point we made our way back away from the edge.
Speak for yourself, this is my limit.
The must see AA signpost at Slope Point shows the distance to the Equator and the South Pole.
The route back to the main road looks simple enough. Very wet underfoot, so much so that following my leader I had severe ingress of muddy, freezing water in my Crocs. Oh why, oh why didn’t I put my welligogs on........ There were several stops to rebalance, several giggles as one of us blew off course. Never have I been so pleased to fight with a door in my life. Now I know we were right not to bring Beez down here.
Later we would look up the weather for Slope Point – average wind speed thirty eight miles per hour gusting to fifty six miles per hour with occasional greater speeds.
Looking back was a great sight.
ALL IN ALL AN EXTREME TRAMPING EXPERIENCE
THE MOST AMAZING WIND