The morning started out awesome!! Pedal kayaking was a winning choice. We saw fur seals frolicking in the water, dolphins leaping through the waves, and even two Little Blue Penguins, just lazily bobbing on top of the water. This was, by far, the most wildlife we have seen since coming here to New Zealand. The trip was perfect, the water calm, and the ability to take pictures was a bonus. We are officially fans of pedal kayaking!! Kathy, ever nervous on water, tried not to be a backseat (or, actually, frontseat) driver to Dave – sometimes succeeding and sometimes not (mostly not…) All in all, it was a great day with perfect weather to kayak on the ocean!! Even with all the nagging of Dave. It was training for the evening when she nagged him not to get to close to the humongous seals!
We learned something interesting on the kayak trip. We knew that Christchurch had a huge earthquake in 2009. We didn’t know that Kaikoura had an equally large earthquake in 2016. We were told that the earthquake lifted the ocean floor 2 to 4 meters (6 to 12 feet!) and exposed a lot of rock that was ocean floor, but is now just part of the land. You could see where the old high tide marks were, but it is much different now. Driving in from Nelson, we ran through a lot of road construction. Now we know why! They had both lanes of the coastal road north of Kaikoura open for the holiday break open for the first time since the 2016 quake! Currently, it is back to one lane in many places as the construction resumes. Incredible display of earth’s power.
We went home for lunch, then a walk around the peninsula where we got to see more seals sleeping on the rocks near the ocean. We decided to come home have an early dinner and go back out to see if we could find some more wildlife. Heading out in the early evening, we found some more fur seals, sea birds, and even a lesser blue heron. Dave took our good camera and kept busy taking closeup photos of the sleeping and playing fur seals, including some babies. Enjoy the photos from our phone camera for now until Dave’s expert photos are uploaded to be viewed. One more day and night and then we are off to Samoa. New Zealand has been awesome, but we are ready for a new adventure!