Pelorous Sound Mail Boat – Day 7 in EnZed

The Pelorous Sound Mail Boat

The Pelorous Sound Mail Boat

While waiting to leave we spotted two blokes coming in on a small boat with two pigs aboard.

Kerrie went down and spoke to them and they told her they had run the pigs down with the dogs and then stuck them. They were going to eat them telling Kerrie that the larger one probably woudn’t be too good the smaller one would taste like lamb, depending on what it had been eating. They were a little embarrassed to have photos taken of the pigs as they thought our Aussie pigs were much more impressive.

Pigs hunted on the bushy hillsides of the Pelorous Sound

Pigs hunted on the bushy hillsides of the Pelorous Sound

The day could not have been better. In stark contrast to yesterday the weather was fine, calm and sunny.

It was a rare treat to spend the day on this cruise and it’s easy to see why some people have chosen to live in the isolated beauty on the shores of the sound.

The Mail Boat drops off mail and other supplies to isolated Pelorous Sound residents. Many have no road access.

The Mail Boat drops off mail and other supplies to isolated Pelorous Sound residents. Many have no road access.

High hills and lush bush border the vibrant shades of blue of the sea.

High natural bush or forest shrouded hills drop straight to the water

High natural bush or forest shrouded hills drop straight to the water

The Pelorous Sound is 60 miles long from Havelock to the open sea and it is from here that the giant mussel farms harvest many millions of tonnes of mussel each year providing an income for  5 factories and 1500 people.

Many thousands of mussel lines grow hundreds of tons of green shelled Mussels each year.

Many thousands of mussel lines grow hundreds of tons of green shelled Mussels each year.

The Mussels are grown on ropes that dangle deep down in the sea and are looped between two buoyed lines that are anchored to the sea bed by huge concrete blocks. The harvesting vessels then run along these main buoyed lines and haul up the ropes with hydraulic winches dumping the rope with its attached mussels into huge bags which are then taken to Havelock where the Mussels are removed from the ropes and processed.

The Mussels grow on ropes hanging looped between these two main lines...

The Mussels grow on ropes hanging looped between these two main lines…

...then the harvest vessels runs along the main lines lifting the Mussel encrusted ropes into bags for transportation to the factory.

…then the harvest vessels runs along the main lines lifting the Mussel encrusted ropes into bags for transportation to the factory.

Large Fur Seals were swimming around the packed full salmon farm enclosures

Large Fur Seals were swimming around the packed full salmon farm enclosures

Logging is also a major industry in Pelorous Sound

Logging is also a major industry in Pelorous Sound

On board the mail boat was a sample of a wall/floor made from Paua shell (Abalone) that one of the Pelorous Sound residents makes and sells al over the world. On enquiring about them the Skipper called the resident and they met us when we stopped to deliver their mail. We bought some of these unique pieces as did others on the cruise.

This resident met us with the magnificent Paua shell tiles which we bought

This resident met us with the magnificent Paua shell tiles which we bought

 

Magnificent Paua shell tiles made locally in the Pelorous Sound

Magnificent Paua shell tiles made locally in the Pelorous Sound

There are some fascinating stories associated with the residents of Pelorous Sound and you can’t help but think that the loneliness of isolation would be well compensated for by the sheer beauty of the environment.

Beautiful isolation

Beautiful isolation

Seals bask on the shores everywhere and Blue Penguins and the small New Zealand species of dolphin abound in the hundreds of bays and inlets which are alive with fish feeding on the surface and many species of birds including the large yellow headed Gannets that inhabit a colony on the rocks at a lonely outcrop near the top of the Sound.

A large colony of Gannets occupy this lonely outcrop of rock

A large colony of Gannets occupy this lonely outcrop of rock

The small Blue Penguins inhabit the Peloroous Sound in abundance...

The small Blue Penguins inhabit the Peloroous Sound in abundance…

...as do the small varitey of New Zealand Dolphin

…as do the small varitey of New Zealand Dolphin

We went ashore at a little inlet called Jacobs Cove where a foresighted soul in the mid 1800s decided to make this a conservation area. As a resulted this area has never ever been farmed or logged and is the only piece of pure virgin bush in the whole are. It is truly a stunning place to walk through and from which to observe the surrounding sea.

Jacobs Cove - 100% virgin bush

Jacobs Cove – 100% virgin bush

Through the virgin bush of Jacobs Cove out to the Pelorous Sound

Through the virgin bush of Jacobs Cove out to the Pelorous Sound

A new fern leaf unfolding - The Maoris use this as the "Koru" symbol which signifies renewal and hope.

A new fern leaf unfolding – The Maoris use this as the “Koru” symbol which signifies renewal and hope.

A peaceful interlude at Jacobs Cove

A peaceful interlude at Jacobs Cove

The water's crystal clear but very cold!

The water’s crystal clear but very cold!

As we steamed peacefully back to Havelock in the late afternoon we felt we had momentarily stepped into one of the worlds really beautiful places.

Has to be one of the worlds most beautiful places

Has to be one of the worlds most beautiful places

The Pelorous Sound mail cruise was a wonderful experience

The Pelorous Sound mail cruise was a wonderful experience

We made our way to Picton where we would stay the night and after the luxurious Mt Richmond retreat we found a very ordinary rather shabby motel for an exaggerated price. Not satisfied with the high price for the room they charged for everything else including laundry, internet and even a swim in the spa! Oh well, it seems people are still prepared to pay so I guess it’s OK.

Perhaps because Picton is a tourist town and mostly a stopover for travellers taking the Inter Island ferry, prices are high. We stopped at the supermarket to get a few basics and were amazed at the prices.

This has been the only negative of our trip. Prices are very high for most basic items. New Zealand lamb for instance, that’s in such abundance, is often near twice the price of lamb in Aus. Locally made produce such as local cheeses are also expensive and not always easy to find. New Zealanders must just earn more than Australians I suppose.

We did however have a great night’s sleep looking forward to visiting the wine growing inland Marlborough region tomorrow.