Saturday, December 19, 2009

Abel Tasman National Park

imageJames has the kayak bug and it has been kicking into overdrive since we got to New Zealand.  Today, we finally scratched that itch.  We’ve headed north just a few kilometers from Motueka to Kaiteriteri Beach to join a guided kayak tour into the Abel Tasman National Park.  There is certainly much more to see of the park, but James really wanted to kayak and I wanted to see the fur seals.  We did not kayak half a kilometer before we came across this male fur seal sunning himself.  After a few minutes, he decided to hop into the water and roll around the kayaks and rocks.  Our guide, Sam, said that  while sunning himself he lost some of the oil in his fur and the rolling around in the water was his way of redistributing it. imageThe day ultimately was good for kayaking.  It was warm, but not too bright on the water.  The only “bad” part is we did get wet in the afternoon in the rain.  We really didn’t mind by that point because we had gotten rather wet already.  It’s similar to what James likes to say about cycling - “It’s one thing to get rained on while you are out there, but it’s no fun to start when it is raining.”

We kayaked for about 5 hours plus a break for lunch exploring the coves, estuaries, beaches and islands in the Torrent Bay.imageimage After some time close to the coastline, we did set out to Pinnacle Island where some of the fur seals have set up a colony.  So how many seals do you see in this picture?  Can you pick out the male?image The other amazing part of all of this is that the tide here changes by 4.8 meters (about 15 feet) vertically.  So here is what the beach looked like when we left for kayaking about an hour before high tide…image And here it is when we got back 6 hours later…                        image And finally an hour later when the ferry came to pick us up and take us back to the starting point…                                                         image One of the beautiful things that this brings is a fertile field of shellfish, mussels, clams, oysters, etc. there for the taking.  And the taking we did see.  Here’s a family of oystercatchers out taking advantage of the tide…                                                               image And a stingray keeping us company while we wait for the ferry…image For more pictures (including many that are just to inspire tapestries, so beware), check out…


Life Looms Large said...

Looks like a great day!! I love to kayak on vacation. It's such a fun way to see an area.

I love the oystercatcher picture!! The giant stingray? Makes me glad you're the one seeing it, not me!

The color of the water varies a lot in your photos. Some of the green and turquoise colors are really beautiful.

I also love the photo in your gallery of the boulder split in half.

All in all, you're a good ad for NZ tourism again today!!

Have fun!


Theresa said...

What a great day out on the water. As Sue said, the water varies so much and looks quite lovely, even if it does have stingrays. Aren't they so unique? The family shot is adorable too. I have to keep reminding myself that it's summer there, hence babies are likely on board so to speak.The male, isn't he over to the left with his snout in the air?
Interesting about how they redistribute the oils in their coat.

sue schwarz said...

beautiful pictures. I think a lot of us are living vicariously through your lovely pictures and descriptions. Thanks for sharing.

charlotte said...

What a fantastic kayaking trip, the landscape and the water are so beautiful.

Jennifer said...

Thanks! The water is very pure here so it will reflect somewhere in the blue range of the visible light spectrum. The variation we've been told has a lot to do with the sky and how blue it is. It's quite clear, we could see the bottom in the etsuaries.

Royal Empress said...

Stunning shots! I may have to visit next year. Thanks for sharing.