New Zealand 2008-9 ..... Page 2

Page 1 got a bit long to keep scrolling down so if you've just arrived for the first time, Page 1 is here.

I hope the 'stuff' on here works OK because my sophisticated software that I was using to create this masterpiece ran out of it's licence period and I haven't been able to renew it from here.... which means that I am programming by hand.    If you want to see how its done, click 'View' and then 'Source' to see the workings out.

We got to Kaikoura.    A peninsula where the ocean currents have created sea so rich in nutrients that it attracts all kinds of marine life for the food.    A bit like the Wildebeest in Stoke....

The day we arrived was pretty grey, the only clear skies were on the horizon out to sea.   Maddening.    Anyway, we booked a whale watch for the following day as the forecast looked better.    In the meantime, it happened to be Valentine's Day.    We reccy'd the local restaurants as Kaikoura is THE place for crayfish.   We chose the poshest. Crayfish for the night was $60 (£24) for a half.    It came served as basic as could be.   Salad dressed with something out a bottle (I'm sure it was) and wedges I wouldn't have served even if I'd had too much of the red while cooking.   For the first time in my life I didn't point out that the wine was omitted from the bill.    Actually, that was the best bit of the meal.    A delightful bottle of Merlot from Hawkes Bay.    The label was Hawk(s)hurst.    I recommend it.

Sleepy NZ fur seal    Sleepy NZ fur seal

There is a seal colony here and we got close enough to enjoy their languid faces.    Good life I reckon, that is so long as you don't tire of the fish, fish and more fish.  

Our whale watch was delightful. Great boat and crew.    Lydia, our lady captain found us 4 sperm whales and a pod of about 200 dolphins.    It is magic to actually be so close to them. Why is it we always want the pic of the whale leaving us?    The 'blow' is the whale breathing, which it does every 2 minutes or so, for up to 20 minutes before diving again.

Whale blow   Whale tail

Dolphins    Dolphins

On to Ward beach, a POP.     That means that it is only available to NZMCA members (like the Caravan Club).     There's a box for donations, not more than $3.     Met a great Canadian couple there who caught 3 crayfish and it cost them no more than a bruise on the rocks!!

The visitors book is different!!    stones

We spent a beautiful couple of days there and only left because it rained and the forecast was better for further north.    We found some good stones for grand-daughter Abbie to polish back in England, including some nice bits of jade (greenstone) and an abalone shell.    We'll break that up and tumble it too.   Should be pretty.

John got to fly his kite too.  kite  Tantalus at Wards Beach

After that we returned to Blenheim and although we intended to stay somewhere new, we returned to the racecourse again. Long story! The racecourse is always quiet and only available to club members...... trotter  and there's free entertainment too.

On to White's Bay, a nice quiet little bay.......did we choose the wrong day?     It was treasure hunt and sandcastle competition day.     Great fun it was too.

Digging for prizes    Flip Flop Sandcastle    Mermaid, very lifelike sandcastle

Nessie was here    Formula I Sandcastle    Large print?

Some just wanted to play in the sea.   skimmer or just enjoy the view.. White's Bay, East Coast, South Island


Next, at vast expense, we bought a yacht.....the yacht

Well, it makes a change from the camper.    Mind you, those side decks are narrow, have to be very careful not to fall off....?

the Gibling's yacht


It rained in Nelson.     It's the sunniest place in NZ and it rained on us!    Actually, we were jolly pleased that it did.     Had it not rained we would never have visited the WOW collection there.     That's the museum of wearable art and classic cars. It's very good.

I wasn't allowed to photo the fantastic clothes so do have a look at their website,  WOW   and click on Explore WOW



After Nelson it was time to return to the North Island.     Our crossing was glassy calm again.     Glorious sunshine all the way so we stayed out on deck for all of the way.     Probably will get our wrists slapped by Debbie if she finds out. That sunshine is very strong.     Yes, the shadows in pic 4 are us!

Marlborough Sounds    Glassy calm in the Cook Straight

Ferry close to shore    Our shadows on deck

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