Hello again, this time from New Zealand.
Finally theres time to sit down and write an update, and by the looks of it its going to be another big one since alot have happend and I´ve been around.
Firstly there is the dive trip I talked about in the last blog. This was one amazing trip we had 7 days on the Great Barrier Reef, and only once did we go ashore and that was only to watch a beautiful sunset on the beach. As guests on the ship the only things we did was eat sleep and dive, with the occasional poker night :P. We had an excellent chef so the food we had was great, and the best thing to come up to after a morning dive at 7:30 am is the smell of breakfast. I had about 19 dives on 5 days, so it was great. It could have been more dives but I had something that felt like an ear infection, so I had to take a day off diving.
The diving was great we did all kinds of dives from drop off current dives to night dives and dives with the occasional cave/swim through. Some of the swim through´s was so tight that we had to just crawl with our hands not moving our feet. We also did a shark feed dive with no protection at all. We had grey, white tip and black tip reef sharks all around us. That was a great and adrenaline filled experience watching the sharks feed just 3 meters from you. There is pictures from this dive and from other great dives as well, and by the way none of the pictures is zoomed in it is the actual distance.
Apart from the sharks we saw on nearly all the dives, we saw a huge variety of corals and coral fish. We even saw some turtles, eagle rays (that's just a tad smaller than the manta ray) devil rays. The biggest eagle ray I actually saw when I was snorkelling, it had a wingspan of almost 2 meters it was huge. Oh I forgot to mention some other sharks we saw. There was 2 great hammer head sharks on one dive, some of the others place em around 3 meters long. One night we had a nurse shark hanging around the boat, I place that around 3 - 3 and a half meters. I went snorkelling with that staying close to the ladder in relative safety, that was some adrenaline filled moments.
After the dive trip I took a plane down to Perth to meet a good mate from the navy and the mates he´s living with. This was great fun meeting the all, and all the fun stuff we did. We had some days on the beach. A day we went sand boarding, that was great fun and I recommend it to all who has the chance to do it. Again look at the pictures. Some of these might be zoomed though :P. Needles to say we also had some great nights out and some good parties. We also went to a good old-fashioned aussie bbq, great fun and great food.
After a good week with the guys I went back to Sydney, to finally meet Caroline again. We had some good days in Sydney just being tourists. We had a nice dinner cruise around down town Sydney, seeing it all from the seaside. We also had the luck of getting some fireworks from the opera. Apparently that was just practise for new years. We also went to a comedy show in one of the smaller halls of the opera, called Good Evening with Shaun Micallef and Stephen Curry. The show was really funny and I think some of it is on youtube and it's worth checking out.
After Sydney we went to Fiji to stay there for a week. We took a little boat out to an island called Mana Island. A small island you could walk around in less than 2 hours. It had also been a location of one of the survivor shows, you could still see some of the props that had been built for the show. The island was also located near the island the movie Cast away with Tom Hanks was made, unfortunately we didn't get the chance to go to it.
What we did get the chance to do was diving of course. Caroline took her advanced open water diver course, while I just tagged along on the dives. We had 5 nice dives one being a wreck dive of an tourist ferry, it had been taken out of service 12 years ago and divers had it stripped and sunk to make a dive site. Another dive we did was a night dive, this was really nice because of the bio luminescence (moril). This was a relaxing dive apart from someone (not mentioning names, but you probably know who) squeezing my hand.
After Fiji we went to New Zealand. We landed in Wellington and decided to take the ferry to Picton on the south island, where we rented a car and started our roadtrip around the island.
The first day we went straight to Kaikora where we spent the night. The morning after we went whale watching, where we saw 4 sperm whales up close. Simply amazing those big creatures. After that we drove down to Christchurch and stopped there for lunch. Then we drove further to Metven, and spent the night there. Reason we chose Metven was that we could be picked up and dropped off from a trip there and it was closer to our next destination. The trip I mentioned was one going from Metven into the mountains, where we got to see the location of Edoras from the Lord of the Rings movies. And the back drop used for Helms Deep. This was an amazing trip with stunning scenery, and fun as well since we got to see and stand on the same location to many of the scenes from the movies. As a bonus our guide had worked with the crew and cast of the movies and had some fun and interesting stories.
After this trip we drove down to Mt Cook or Aoraki as the Maori have named it. Here we have spent 2 nights now and we still have one to go before we head down to Dunedin. We had the first day just relaxing taking in the scenery. Today though we had a 4 hour hike to one of the ''tops'' at only 1250 meters above sea level. It seems high but when Mt Cook is towering over you at 3754 meters above sea level, its abit small in comparison. We had a good hike though and were affected by jelly legs when we got back down. The mountains here are alp like in their looks, and absolutely stunning. Still with a lot snow on the tops and glaciers at the foot of the mountain, just to top it. Just look at eh pictures in the New Zealand album and see for your self.
I think that's all for now, check by the new pictures. I finally got the picture side of this blog updated as well. And ive added some new pictures on the thailand and surf camp albums. And I might get the video from the shark feed dive out as well so keep an eye out for that.
Over and out