Anthems at 7.45am. Formed up and rolling out at 8am for another short hop.
The trucks were winding up the Haast River Valley through more overwhelmingly spectacular scenery yet again. The night before we had been studying photos of the road under construction, so today we had fun spotting the location of the photos as we drove along.
After a comfort stop at a lovely DOC reserve, we were on the road again and heading up into the hills. The Pass is steep and a really special experience. The coffee stop was again courtesy of Haigh and gratefully received.
The country view changes entirely as you transit the Pass. Now in the alpine environment, we trundled along the side of Lake Wanaka. Crossing the saddle, the convoy pulled aside to meet the other Yates (Peter’s brother).
After that it was a fairly early arrival at Windermere Farm to camp next to the Wings over Wanaka. Jock welcomed us to his abode. We camped next to a bunch of lawyers but avoided getting sued.
Mid-afternoon the team went down to the Wanaka waterfront for the free airshow. The Frankie girls provided some ambiance with the music show. Various aircraft put in an appearance but the absolute highlight was the Catalina coming over low and slow and landing on the lake. The Navy’s Seasprite helicopter landing on the beach to deliver Jim Hickey was less of a highlight, as everyone within 100m got showered with sand, gravel and lake water. There is always a shower to look forward to after that experience.
We scouted for a location for the night movie, needing to be within power cord reach of the mains supply. Although Jock told us that his house was our house, we thought 30 people in his lounge could be over the top. He cheerfully agreed to us setting up in his back yard. We hoisted the screen on a stick of 4x2, propped up against an oil tank. The projector was on top of a 44 gallon drum. Haigh had lost the power cord for our speakers so Jock’s missus brought out a portable speaker for us. Unfortunately during pack-down John S returned Haigh’s sound bar along with the borrowed speaker. This gave Haigh another opportunity to chat to Jock the next day as he recovered the missing sound bar.
We went to bed anticipating an exciting day tomorrow at the airshow, after seeing the practice runs today.