Congrats to Anne and John!
December 6th, 2003 | View Post

Wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS to Anne and John for finally getting engaged! I will be looking forward to that wedding whenever it may take place.

On another note, I am currently working to get some music files online. I have been recording some stuff via my digital camera's microphone so while the quality isnt all that great, it will still work. The camera saves as .MOV files and so I am working to extract the audio into .MP3 - this is turning into somewhat of a nightmare but I imagine I will have it done in a few hours.

Gallery Back to Normal
December 2nd, 2003 | View Post

The gallery has finally been restored fully. There are now all 978 pictures online that have been taken in the last 6 months or so around New Zealand. Sorry it took so long to get the older ones back online but now that I don't live with anyone, I have been able to tie up the phone lines all day long. And yes, to those interested, I am in fact using dialup. It was a hard set-back at first, having been used to broadband for so many years, but I have adapted to it well.

Christmas is Coming!
December 1st, 2003 | View Post

Just wanted to add a little content to start off December. Only 25 more days till Christmas. If you wanted to catch up with anything from November, the link is in the top-left block.

Helicopter Ride from Kaikoura
November 24th, 2003 | View Post


The helicopter sitting on the pad waiting to go
Today started off a little rough as the whale watching tours were cancelled due to bad weather. This is the second time Tisa and I have tried unsuccessfully to go whale watching in Kaikoura only to have the weather turn sour on us. Determined to do it anyways, Sean and I took a helicopter(first time for both of us) and went whale watching. We were told that there would only be a 50% chance of actually seeing whales given the conditions so Tisa decided not to go with us. While we did infact see a Sperm Whale even with the bad weather, the fun part of the trip for both Sean and I was the helicopter ride. If you have never ridden in one, I would strongly suggest trying it. Perhaps in my efforts to conquer the world I will learn to fly a helicopter someday - I'll certainly take more rides in them.

After our Kaikoura experience, we headed up to Picton and caught the InterIslander Ferry across. The weather was still pretty bad and it was an enjoyably rough Cook Straight Experience. Our friend, Leah, picked us up at the Ferry Depot and she and her family have been kind enough to put us up in the home for the evening.

Revisiting Abel Tasman National Park
November 23rd, 2003 | View Post

Today was our day in the Abel Tasman National Park. Needless to say it was wonderful. We were happy to have the weather cooperate with us and started the day with a water taxi ride from one end of the park to the other, on a jet boat. After being dropped off, we began a three hour hike back to the other end of the park. While some of the uphills were tiring, it was quite a nice tramp. After our three hour hike we met up with another water taxi and caught it back to the entrance of the park.

After our trip to Abel Tasman we got back on the road and headed to Kaikoura on the east coast. After checking into a nice motel in Kaikoura, we took a lengthy drive and found a dark and secluded beach where we lit off two boxes of fireworks (we've had them saved since the Guy Fawks Holiday Nov 5th). Needless to say the fireworks were less than spectacular but a fun time was had by all. We plan to do either some fishing or whale watching tomorrow afternoon in Kaikoura and then head off to Picton to catch the ferry across the Cook Straight and into Wellington.

Plenty of pictures have been taken and are on the way, I just need a place to stay on the internet long enough.

Continuing North Part 2
November 22nd, 2003 | View Post

Continued heading north along the west coast today departing from Greymouth around noon or so. We stopped at the famous Pancake Boulders just 30 minutes north of Greymouth and later stopped at the Buller Gorge. Both are known as key points of interest in New Zealand and I would say they are pretty interesting. The weather at the Pancake Boulders was not terribly good, but as we continued north along Highway 6 it gradually cleared up.

One interesting story was a stop we had just south of Westport on the West Coast. We stopped for a brief visit and some pictures to a seal colony. On one hand there was a path that wound around the beach and looked to be somewhat of a long journey and on the other hand there was the option of crossing the beach and hiking up the rockside. I decided that we would take to the beach and climb the rocks. As I led the three of us jumping from rock to rock along the beach I did not notice how well one of the seals had blended into the surroundings. Thankfully I lept to the right instead of the left but nonetheless heard a loud roar as I stepped down. Not more than two meters to my left was a huge male seal head in the air snarling at me. I quickly sprung across a few more rocks and up grassy hill only to find myself in the face of another seal snarling at me. I quickly backed off, heart pounding and hands bruised from falling on a previous rock and ran away. In the end, we decided to take the longer path.

After a nice Indian dinner in Nelson (along the North coast) we neaded closer to Abel Tasman National Park and have found ourselves a quaint motel on the outskirts. Weather cooperating, we are planning to do some kyaking somewhere in the park at the Golden Bay.

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