(February 10th 2007)
Saturday started well with a nice breakfast and went downhill from there, for one of us at least. Before we left the UK I booked a ‘Day in the Bay’ boat trip in the Bay of Islands. Lovely, jump on a boat, travel around the bay, see some dolphins, have some lunch and see the sights. I hate boats! The only reason I did this bloody trip was because Amanda wanted to see dolphins in the wild and this is one of the best places to see them. If the conditions are right (they weren’t sadly for her) you can also swim with them, so I thought it was a price worth paying. How wrong I was. I still maintain that I have never been sea sick as I have never blown chunks, upchucked or any of the other charming expressions used, but I did feel rather ‘ick, and looked a rather pleasant shade of green so I’m told. Anyway, we saw the dolphins and the reason Amanda didn’t get to swim with them was that there were babies there (awwwwww). One was reckoned to be only a day or so old, it was tiny and very, very cute. Sadly David Bailey wasn’t available to take photos so Amanda tried to do her best. She did get some pretty decent pictures but not of the babies. After that flipper-tastic action we headed out to see the Hole in the Rock. In theory if the sea is kind the boat threads itself though a small hole in a huge rock at the edge of the bay. The sea was not in a good mood and much to my relief we took a look and headed back to the relative calm waters of the bay. The skipper dropped us off at an island where we found a nice shady spot under a tree and ate lunch. Amanda went snorkeling and Ian sulked.
After far too long at sea (ok, it was a bay but it felt like a round the world yacht race to me) we were dropped off at Russell, a small historic town opposite Paihia where we caught the boat in the morning. Russell was nice but sadly it was shut. We did manage to get a drink and then an ice cream but we were losing the will to live (or was that just me?) and wanted to get some proper food and get back to proper dry land (that was just me again).
We caught the fast ferry back, as it was the least amount of time I could spend on the water and got a bit of food back in Paihia. The drive back to the beach house felt very good indeed.
One more full day in Northland tomorrow then we head south.