Wednesday, 16 April 2008

How far have you strayed from home?

Heading in, on the way out.

Our Great South Basin campaign (there's really no other way of describing it, battle after interminable battle...) did finally draw to a close. Almost five months after we'd pulled into Bluff the first time we went alongside again, this time on the way out. In the three trips, or parts thereof, a lot of things have changed. Uncharacteristically, this time I was one of the few constants. More or less. Somehow, more people seem to have left (or will be leaving shortly) than ever before.

While that last bit is not entirely accurate, (there was definitely at least one other time that felt at least as bad..) there is a definite sense of having to let go of too much too soon. Oh well, change does unsettle the best of us I suppose. It's just that the nature of the few trips here have set me thinking about this whole thing, probably a bit too much. And one of the by-products was the unfortunate realisation that I probably actually like being at sea too much for my own good :-<. Something I found infinitely more interesting were these strange sort of silvery patches in the water that caught my eye on the way into harbour. It must have something to do with the prevalent bright sunlight, but how that translated to these brief sparkling pools had me utterly at a loss!
Once we were tied up, there wasn't a whole lot to do right away. Unfortunately the circumstances had somehow changed and it was no longer possible for me to simply run off while still on shift :-<. After midday though, I decided to pay the hill top another visit. This time the weather was pretty much the opposite of my previous experience. This was technically a lot closer to winter, but far from wearing a jacket, I was sweating in my t-shirt under the glare of an unnaturally hot winter sun! It was nice to get a clear view of the island wharf (seen above) where we'd spent quite a bit of time, and under circumstances I'd much rather not think about... And of course there was the long snaking beach, so spectacularly devoid of any signs of human activity that it almost spelt out heaven.
And the road out that installation in the middle of the harbour that unnecessarily grabs my attention every time. (The exact purpose of it is still a mystery to me, although the big factory at the other end might have something to do with that).

It was a nice walk. I decided to go alone this time, and chose to retrace my path on the way back. The only unfortunate bit was the number of cars and camper vans that chose the same time to pay a visit to the same place. The absence of a side-walk made itself rather acutely felt :|.
Oh well, soon enough it was time to get back to work. Although this time I was happy to notice a remarkable improvement in the lighting :). I do realise that the sense of familiarity gained from such brief, frenzied visits can only be completely illusory, but after repeated encounters of this nature, it becomes difficult sometimes, to see the truth.
As we pulled away this time, while I was immensely thankful for the knowledge that we wouldn't be back any time soon, I was also already beginning to rue that very same thing. You see, it is such a fascinating place, New Zealand. And I'd only had the briefest of previews, I am sure. It's a shame things went quite as spectacularly evilly on other fronts :-<.

All in all there was a certain symmetry to this whole thing. Something one doesn't get to see often in the generally topsy turvy, disorganised, sometimes scarily unpredictable business of seismic. Maybe there is some sense after all, to all this confusion. Or maybe, I'm just seeing things...
Heading out, am I ever coming back?

Currently: in transit
Listening to: Dashboard Confessional - The sharp hint of new tears

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