#10 - whangarei & diving at poor knights island, tutukaka
Whangarei Travel Blog› entry 10 of 113 › view all entries
*****DAY TEN (Friday, December 12th) - WANDERING AROUND WHANGAREI*****
So, I effectively had a police escort to Whangarei this morning. Chris Scahill kindly offered to drive me down there...so I was technically in a cop's car...just not one with sirens & all that jazz. Anyway, it was such a nice drive down and I was excited that I got to spend time with Chris. He had meeting with the police department there that day, so it worked out so well!
I was meeting up with Kevin Horst...a friend of Nina's (Nina is a friend of Lyndee's!). Nina taught with him at Boulder and when I told her I was going to New Zealand she put us in touch.
After my politically active morning, Robyn had to go - so I just got some lunch and sat by the water.
Kevin and I then went to go feed his horses....and that's where I encountered my first sand fly bites. FUN. I have about five on my ankles now. :) Other than that, it was fun to see his horses and to check out the farm. Definitely not something that would have been on the typical tourist bus!
That night we met up with some German friends of his. He teaches the kids - Marius and Nickolai....and their parents, Claudia & Marcus were in town as well. They are considering moving to New Zealand...that's why they sent their children to school here. Apparently the boys are not big fans of NZ because Whangarei is "boring" and they didn't like the all boys school (I think boring is related to the girl situation!) Anyway, the boys want to go back to Germany & the parents want to move here.
I was definitely exhausted after that day & wanted to get to bed & get ready for our next day of diving!!! I was so excited! :)
*****DAY ELEVEN (Saturday, December 13th) - DIVING AT POOR KNIGHTS!*****
We got up today at 6am to get ready to head out to Tutukaka (yes, it really is Tutukaka!). The drive out there was great...so beautiful and it was actually much closer than I thought! Kevin and I were the first ones there and we got all ready for our trip.
I had such a wonderful day of diving!!! I took a "refresher" course since I hadn't been in 4 yrs (you know, fill your mask with water - clear, do the "out of air" drill, take your regulator out, etc.) Since Kevin had never been diving before he was going to do a "discover" dive....they paired us up & were going to have just us two go with a divemaster. It turns out he wasn't comfortable diving that day (I do not blame him actually -- -they went a bit quickly for someone's first dive!) So, it was actually just me and Kerrance (the dive master) for my first dive.
The second dive was great as well - althougth I was a bit colder the second time going down. I didn't think about the whole "SUB" part of "sub-tropical" - it definitely was not warm weather diving. I really enjoyed getting the hang of diving again though and I will definitely try to go again in Australia or Thailand or something!
On the way back, Sam (the skipper.
Then, one of my favorite parts of diving....drinking beers after!!! It was the most beautiful day so we sat outside with some other folks from our boat and had a few beers. It was "gizellig"....a dutch word I learned which means cozy/comfy/etc. I told them it was such a perfect day I wanted to grab it (or bite it. :) ) and then they told me that word!!
After beers, the German family (I wish I knew their last name so I didn't have to keep saying "the German family"!) met us for dinner. It was perfect. We literally started our day with coffee at Schnappa Rock (the restaurant right next to Dive Tutukaka) and ended it with drinks & dinner there! Dinner was DELICIOUS!!!! Kevin and I split two fish dishes that were so fresh and yummy.
At the end of dinner, I did my second "interviews" with Claudia & Marcus. We had been talking about Obama/the U.S./the economy, etc so I asked them if I could film them. They were definitely into it. It was great!
So, we ended up basically closing down the restaurant. We were the last people left by 11pm or so, so Kevin and I hit the road back to Whangarei.
WHAT AN AWESOME DAY!!!!!