One of the interesting coincidences of this trip so far has been meeting up with the passengers who stayed in our cabin on the Cap Cleveland (between New Zealand and Philadelphia) before we got on. We never met in Philadelphia—they got off the ship in the morning, and we boarded in the afternoon, but Jeoffrey (the third officer) recalled various stories involving the Mullins along the way.
That would have been the end of the story, had it not been for their Canadian friend who was coming to visit them in New Zealand. He googled for the Cap Cleveland, found my blog, and passed the URL along to them. They left a comment on my Tramping Rangitoto post while we were on the North Island heading south. There was a slight chance we could have crossed paths after the ferry to the South Island, but we didn’t connect with them over email until we were well south of Christchurch.
That would have been the end of the story, had I not been flipping through our Tramping New Zealand book wondering if there were any Great Walks we could do given our failed attempt at the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Key attributes being: accessible by public transport, not too strenuous, and high probability of good weather. All signs pointed to the Abel Tasman Coast Track—and in the back of my head I was thinking, who knows maybe we could meet up with the Mullins, who lived nearby. It was also an area we hadn’t visited on our campervan tour of the South Island, and it gave us a geographical region to focus our wwoofing search.
To make a long story short, we did finally meet up, and spent a lovely afternoon together waxing nostalgic about our time at sea. Since then we’ve seen Peter and Lorraine on several occasions, and they’ve been exceptionally kind in showing us around, whether it be to the start of the Abel Tasman Coast Track, to the World of WearableArt and Classic Car Museum, or to Blenheim, where were traveled with them last Tuesday, stopping at Nelson Lakes National Park on the way.