Day 4 - Sunday 29 March 2009

I wake up and look out the window to a clear sky so I role over and go back to sleep. But thereís flies buzzing around the room so after a short while I get up and look out the window to what looks like a magnificent sunrise. Too late for me to get up the hill to Q3 and take some photos so I just snap off a few images of it from around Q1, after the mild-excitement wears down I lie back in bed for a while, thinking and contemplating being here. Then the routine of a day on Tasman begins again. I head up the path to Q3, have some breakfast, porridge with brown sugar, peaches and 2 cups of coffee, then clean my teeth before I start a bit of raking around the back of Q2 and around the weather station.

Before long a weather front comes in from the south. Dark low lying clouds looking menacing over the mainland. Within a few moments it is upon us. The humidity levels jump, and I feel like Iíve just jumped out of the shower. Low cloud much like being in thick fog sweeps across the top of the island engulfing everything in its path. The day goes from a beautiful bright sunrise to a grey darkness, to the sun streaking through in small gaps in the clouds to the east occasionally allowing glimpses of the shimmering water below in burst of silver, then engulfed again by greyness. The clouds blow past swiftly bringing more cloud and condensation.

I continue to rake around Q2 as Chris and Mike brush-cut, then its morning tea. A cuppa, piece of fruitcake, and an apple down the hatch and Iím back out there. Upon finishing I make my way down to Q1, to help with more mowing and raking. Scott and I find a large concrete pipe amongst the sweeping we are doing, then find another, in total we find about 15 of them. We decide to dig them out of the ground and stack them up somewhere else. Itís a hell of a job and by 1pm Iím pretty over it. We had back up to Q3 and have lunch, leftovers from dinner 2 nights earlier.

Its then decided that a walk to the Monkeys off the southern edge of the island is on. Everyone except for Erika, Alan S and Sue decide to go. The walk commences its way past Q2 to the weather station, make a left across the middle of the island through medium sized scrub and into the small strands of She-oak zigzagging our way through until we reach the western cliff edge of the island. Scott is a bit partial to heights and its quite windy so we all, in particular him, keep well away from the edge, apart from a number of us who get down on the ground much like a snake slithering our way to the edge for a look. I take a number of photos marvelling at the depth and vertigo of the downward nature of the cliff edges. Its quite something, when I hold the camera over the edge lying down on the top of the rock, the updraft from the wind pushes the camera away but I keep a strong grip making sure not to let go. Chris throws a large stick over the edge and the wind brings it back over his head landing about 50 feet behind him. We move on inland to the other side of the island as the wind is just too strong. It doesnít take long before we are now on the eastern edge. The section of the island we cross must be the thinnest section of the island, the wind is still strong, and at times it feels stronger. Most of the walk back to the houses and lighthouse we follow the coastline. Kevin and Scott make their way straight back, Kevin is cooking tonight and needs to get started, Scott is not liking being this near to the cliff edges and height. Chris, Alan J, Denise and I reach a point where we are able to climb down into a sheltered spot onto one of the ledges below. We are surrounded by a natural amphitheatre of cliffs, and I feel very small. Like the Lost World there are huge rocks fallen on there sides lying at a 45 degree angle falling seaward. The grass is extremely long and makes for a very comfortable seat when one simply falls backwards into it. Again I take a lot of photos and get a strong sense of the vertigo feeling, but it comes from looking up at the cliffs rather than down. The scale of the cliffs is immense and we are probably only down on a section of the island that is about a quarter of the way down to the sea. We wander for some time around the rocks, exploring our way up and down, in and out through passageways in between the rocks, occasionally climbing up one to admire the view. After about an hour of climbing, and after a brief lie in the long grass again, we climb back up the way we came down and make our way back to Q3.

I then wander down to Q1 for a bit of my own time R & R, I make a few drawings then after about an hour walk back up the pathway to Q3 for dinner. Kevin has cooked a vegetarian potato bake and it tastes divine. Tasman provides us with these beautiful meals and we certainly need them after all of the working and walking. After the main course of dinner I wander out to the back area of Q3 as Iíve been keeping an eye on the sunset, and tonightís one is simply marvellous. I take a number of photos and marvel at it for some time before going back inside for a dessert of blackberries with apples and custard. Dinner is over; I clean my teeth then make the walk back down to Q1 in the dark. Iím tired so thereís not much writing or reading tonight. I crash-out fairly quickly in the stillness of this lovely quiet night.