Once we had picked up the camper we stocked up with essentials at the Pak 'n' Save.We cooked dinner in the car park and then started an epic drive from Auckland to The Bay of Islands.The night drive was a bit of a mission, lots of winding country roads, Niall was whacked so I did the whole drive, whilst having the displeasure of listening to his ipod, which was clearly broken as it wasn't actually playing any music.
We got as far as we could and decided to stay in the harbor at Whangarei.It was a pretty nothingky town so we got straight on the road as soon as we got up.We had a quick look at a waterfall just outside of town, I did fancy a swim but according to a sign heavy rains had caused the local sewerage plant to overflow, I decided against it!After a hour long walk we got in the van and headed Paihia at the heart of The Bay of Islands.
We had a stroll around the town of Paihia and a few history lessons, this is where the treaty between the Brits & Maoris was signed which obviously shaped New Zealand in to what it is today.
I got talking to a Polish guy camping next to us, who had been travelling for eighteen months, climbing his way around the world.He'd been on his own for quite some time so when I struck up a conversation I got his whole life story, he'd been snowed in the mountains in Canada for two weeks on his own, as he discribed it is a rather comical Polish accent 'big problem' then worked his way down through South America, where he had trouble with the language (big problem), and now he is enduring the same cold wet weather I am suffering in New Zealand, you guessed it 'big problem'.Not too sure why he is travelling if everything is such a big problem, I hope I just caught him on a bad day, you can't have experienced all that great stuff and still be grumpy can you???
The next day I dived on The Rainbow Warrior.The Rainbow Warrior was a Green Peace boat which was docked in the harbor in Auckland before it was due to head out to the Pacific Island where the French (AKA Cheese eating surrender monkeys) were carrying out nuclear testing.French secret agents bombed the Rainbow Warrior in the harbor, killing a Green Peace photographer.After a national man hunt, they caught the agents, but they were extradited back to France and given a hero's welcome (Bloody French) before spending their 'jail' sentence on a French Polonesian Island sunning themselves.Anyway long story short the Kiwis decided to move the boat from Auckland harbor and create a dive site in the Bay of Islands.So I did my first deep dive on the wreck.
It was fantastic, my first wreck dive, at it's deepest the wreck is 28 metres under water.The water was amazingly clear so diving in the wreck was made easier.There were tons of colourful corals and few cool fish! There were only three of us diving, the Scottish dive master, a lad called Michael from Ilford who is off to NTU and myself which made the dive even more enjoyable.
Once we had dived the wreck, the dive boat picked us up and took us to a small un inhabited island, where we had lunch and lots of hot Milo to warm us up, it was bloody cold!
The second dive was just outside the marine reserve so we were able to do a little hunting whilst we were under.The dive started in a forest of kelp and then cleared as we got in to a cool maze of huge boulders, thankfully didn't see the nasty eel hiding in the cave we dived through which amused the boys back on the boat.We did manage to catch a huge Cray Fish, he put up a bit of a struggle and at one point it looked a little like the dive master was being attacked by a sea monster as he was thrashing around under the rock trying to get the little w*** out.
I was low on air so had to go back to the dive boat, the others had another 10 minutes at the bottom and saw a bloody Manta Ray so I was a little pissed off!
Mike took the Cray Fish back to the hostel for dinner, Niall had been fishing whilst I was diving so knew we'd have something for dinner.And I was right a lovely Blue Cod, yum yum.
Fish, lovely to look at when diving but they taste so good too! What a dilemma.