Bryan from Nelson

Given our elaborate breakfast yesterday, we were expecting quite a meal this morning, but it was just a cold breakfast and toast. Nothing wrong with that, but I kept waiting for the egg or bacon to accompany my toast!

We started out this morning with a few clouds and a strong wind, so we expected it to be a little bit cooler today. Unfortunately it was muggy and it really didn’t feel that much cooler.

We had to fight the wind to get out of the harbour, but once we were out, it was mainly behind our backs. We didn’t get a chance to go sailing today, though, as the wind died down fairly quickly – which was good thing.

I didn’t actually do much paddling today. We decided that rather than get ahead of everybody and then sit and wait for everybody to catch up, we’d just trade off paddling and stay with the group better. However Bethany hogged the paddling so I didn’t do much! I did do some paddling while Bethany took some pictures in the calmer sections. And of course, we both paddled while we were fooling around.

After lunch we walked up the top of a hill for a better view. While walking up our guide pointed out several native plants. He pointed out a tree that was infected with an insect that burrowed into the bark. The insect excreted a hair a couple of inches long that extended from the bark. At the tip of this hair was a small drop of a very sweet liquid, which we all tasted.

We finished kayaking where our water taxi put into the water two days ago. We loaded our kayaks onto a trailer, and a small Case tractor took us to the kayak office. While we were waiting for the shuttle back to the hotel, we were able to enjoy a very welcome shower and shave.

Tomorrow: the North Island.