Well… I had not reckoned upon a 730 sunrise.

I was awoken in the middle of the night with a concern: I can’t bike in the non-light as my face-shield has a tint to it. I was asked to be at the terminal by 945 for the 1045 Interislander ferry between Picton and Wellington. It is 1.75 hours between Nelson and Picton. I intended to leave at 7am to give myself a good safety margin. With the late sun-up, I cut into the safety margin more than I wanted. I would simply have to push it and not dawdle.

To make matters a bit more tricky, the rain was back. It seems that morning were rain and the afternoons were (slightly) better. I headed out at 730 when I was comfortable with the light level & visibility. I would have been happy to stop and take some photos but I had concerns about timing … these proved to be unfounded.

I made it to Picton and found the right terminal by about 915. So I headed to find a coffee (success!) and returned to find a gaggle of bikers in attendance in the motorbike area. 6 chaps were returning from a South Island group ride. Another fellow, Jim, was coming back from a week-long rip with a Christchurch mate. There was some decent motorbike comradery.

With some of the fellows, I tore up the highway1 to Plimmerton and veered off into the home-neighbourhood of Martin and Frances Cawthorn. I found their picturesque abode overlooking a gorgeous bay. As I was settling the bike into resting position, up wandered a gent who I did not remember meeting. Here was a smiling Martin followed by his lovely wife, Frances.

It was great to bring my gear into the house knowing that I would not be in the bike for a few days.

I sat down and started the re-acquaintance with these folk. I thought that I would have last seen Martin when I was around 2 years old (the last time I had seen Frances). However, we mentioned that he had visited us when we lived in St Albert. I had vague memories until I recalled the “Helicopter Game” that he played with us to get us to bed. Being tiny, we would sit on his arms and grab his thumbs to “pilot” ourselves to our respective beds. Helicopter troubles inevitably occurred and the “helicopter” hit a couple of walls and crash landed into bed. Imagine the tales of laughter. So, I believe that Martin helped me remember one of my earliest vivid memories. So special.

Martin and I went out to explore the area around their house while Frances, who is recovering from a little ankle injury, whipped up a Chicken Katchatory with Wild rice. Yummy home cooked meal.

We chatted for ages and then wore ourselves down so that sleep was a requirement.

An excellent day.

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