I imagined crossing the Cook Straight aboard a ferry to be this romantic, tranquil journey with pods of dolphin leaping acrobatically from the surrounding waters and unreal sunsets that would guarantee my place on speed dial at National Geographic.
I nearly lost my lunch.
I will spare you the details of seasickness. My husband and I had driven from Rotorua to Wellington to catch a ferry to New Zealand’s South Island to continue our Adventures in Campervanning. Less than an hour into the journey I was face down in a wobbly toilet listening to the soothing sounds of female retching all around me. Fifteen minutes later I was drooling on my luggage head-to-toe from a gnarly bearded man in leather chaps. Oh yes, this is the glamour of international travel.
This 4 1/2-hour journey across Cook Straight was necessary as we were just half-way into our 9-day tour of New Zealand’s North and South Islands. We booked our passage on the Bluebridge Ferry not once but twice, having arrived just past the boarding hour the first time. As we were traveling in a motor home, that wasn’t too much of a problem. Both the ferry companies that ply the Cook Straight allow for the transport of motor homes, albeit, at a hefty price. So, we loaded Death Trap for Cutie (as my husband affectionately and unironically christened her) on the ferry along with hundreds of other pajama’d road-trippers teetering dangerously on The State of Dreadlocks for lack of bathing.
What the actual ride lacked in romance was more than compensated for by the majestic view. As the frigid wind whipped my hair, I steadied myself at the bow soaking it all in and clinging to my camera like it was my firstborn child. The ferry heaved confidently through the sizable swell as I snapped every hill, lighthouse, and buoy streaking by. Tim captured the latter images as we rolled into the picturesque port of Picton in South Island.
Photography by Timothy & Jessica Peterson