Monday, January 7, 2008

The Bay of Islands

December 21st, 2007. Beers in the sun at Weta and home to the picnic table and sprinkler. We are traveling to the Bay of Islands to see Kelly's parents, Brooke and James and spending the holidays up there. The Bay of Islands is about 3 or 4 hours north of Auckland, towards the top of that big sticky out bit of the north island. Saturday evening before we leave Kelly and I open some gifts after Luca is asleep.

We are off. Two little flights to get to Kerikeri where there is a car waiting to drive us down to Paihai. We meet everyone and walk on to the ferry and drive through Russell to Tapeka Point.

Jumping in. Before. Past. Memory.

Jumping in. After. Future. Dream.

Looking South. The town of Russell from Flagstaff hill. Known as the "hell hole of the Pacific" less than two hundred years ago because of the pirates, whalers and escaped convicts; it became the first capital of New Zealand. The original church has bullet holes in it. It is a pretty small town of probably a few hundred permanent residents.

Looking East from the hill:

Looking North: This is Tapeka Point and a bit of the mainland beyond.

Tapeka Point from the deck.

and down to the beach on the left/west of the point. The water was 20/21 degrees and full of fish.

Christmas morning. Luca has been excited about Christmas for about three months. For awhile there every morning he would wake up and ask "what today? christmas today?". We really try not to talk about christmas and birthdays because he is a little obsessed with opening things.

Days perfecting the art of going to the beach...

A couple shots from walking over Tapeka point. I did a lot of snorkeling around this hill. It was great to get back in the water. There is another world down there.

Horse back riding? What the hell? We went up a little volcano and back down to the ocean. I got to ride a really cool Clydesdale and I learned how to "post". She was sweet but always wanting to stop and eat so I had to keep her focused.

After dinner walks are good for digestion.

Don and Kathi brought Luca's fishing rod. Something Don had fixed up for him last summer. It has this plastic alien attached to the end of it and Luca can cast it pretty good. There were a lot of fish under the wharf to check out.

We spent a great day sailing on this big red catamaran. It took us around the islands and we stopped at one and had lunch. Kelly even got in the water.

A couple days later we drove down the coast on a very winding road. Below Cape Brett is this beach which was paradise. You can camp on the beach. There is surf and a protected lagoon. The tide makes all these cool tide pools. Some were swimming pool size. We ended up back here another day and I would go back again. Just make sure to shut the sheep gate on your way from the road.

Happy new year! xo