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Saradha arrives from Wellington, queasy from a rough landing. She steadies up over breakfast and we set off for Golden Bay. On the Hill a queue of traffic is at a standstill and a policeman tells us there's a tree down but we can get past it. We carry on, stopping in Takaka to dash across the road in a downpour for coffee and cake at the Wholemeal Cafe.
The sea swim season has ended. No more gathering at the yacht club on a Thursday evening with an anxious knot in my gut, wondering whether I can get round the course among the other swimmers. Susan suggests a gentle swim at the beach after work, in the last remaining days before the clocks change back and the long summer evenings come to an end.