Quail island

It was in the depths of the winter when we first made the plan to go to Quail Island with the Trick-Pendles. There’s an old hut there that DOC recently renovated, but the proximity to Christchurch means it must be booked well in advance. With the hut a mere 500m from the ferry jetty, it sounded like an achievable weekend for all concerned, so we locked it in. Note: this is old history now, the date for this expedition was 7-8th December.

Lyttleton harbor was made by 3 different volcanic eruptions in the ancient and more ancient past, and what is now Quail island has been covered with lava the times in geological history. But now it’s a mild grassy knoll a short ferry ride from Lyttleton harbor.

We hired a sea kayak from the canoe club, put the kids and the gear on the ferry with Emma and Ian, and paddled over amidst a rain squall.
The weather brightened after a cup of coffee and we went down to the beach for a paddle.
The sun was strong enough to warm the water in the hose and inspire me to a “bath,” much to the amusement of our friends.
The kids played, as kids do, around the hut. Naomi and Amelia preened their hair while perched on tree stumps… and went a wee bit wild.
Milo and William built weaponry and practiced on pine cone targets.
All the kids played soccer as the moon rose. The lights in the background are Lyttleton.
Historical plaques declare the utilitarian uses of the island, among them a training ground and quarantine for dogs going to Antarctica, a prison, and a quarantine facility for lepers at one stage and cholera patients at another. Our even boasts a boat grave yard. A mostly sad history, though now it’s just used for recreation. We strove to lighten the atmosphere with good old silliness.

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