A TIDE of SALTY emotion as we WAVE goodbye to the country of….

MARK: If you ask me what the TWO things are that I will remember most from our five weeks in New Zealand, it might surprise you.  What do you reckon?

Beautiful scenery, aqua-marine glacial lakes or incised ‘V’ shaped valleys? Snow-capped mountains, speeding jet boats or little planes affording brilliant views? Wine, wine and more wine?  The un-PC “classless” people, superb weather – only two grey days in 32 – or single lane roads where Chinese drivers cause mayhem?

Just some of the experiences that readily spring to mind. But just what will stay with me forever?

Ladies and Gentlemen, the masters20152016.com Award for Remembrance goes to…….. drum roll Oscar style……..

Big Blue Sky

Big blue sky and bright blue water

… the Sky and the Sea!

Yep I know, that may be a bit random, but let me explain.

The sky here seems so much”bigger” and bluer than any other country in the world we have ever been to.  Quick research on the web suggests this is possibly due to the lack of pollution, reduced ozone in the atmosphere and is linked to the angle of New Zealand in relation to the Sun’s UV rays.  Whatever it is, we have been sooooooo privileged to see so many amazing blue skies each day. And even on the few days it has been grey, the fascinating cloud formations have been just as dramatic.

OK that’s the sky bit over with, so what about the sea?  Good question Mark.

We’ve seen a lot of it during our 4,163 mile road journey around the two islands. From Bluff at the bottom of South Island to near the Cape Reinga Peninsula in the North.  Benign one minute, a tumultuous cauldron the next, it makes you realise just how insignificant you are in the scheme of things.  It is mesmerizing just watching the surf break. The noise can be deafening close up.  I certainly have great respect for those early explorers including Captain Cook who took on the might of the oceans and not always with positive outcomes.

A grain of sand

A grain of sand

The sky and the sea, literally came together during one of our last adventures, when we bounced along on an ex New Zealand Royal Navy rescue boat, owned and run by local Whitianga legend Steve Miller – The Cave Cruzer.  Steve and his lovely wife Vicki also own the bed and breakfast accommodation we stayed in – Absolute Beachview – a great place if you are ever in this neck of the woods.

But back to the legend for a minute who, by the way, drives an aqua-marine 1974 Mustang convertible…

Steve has saved the lives of TWO people in the past few months due to his fantastic CPR skills.  His latest heroics just over a month ago, got a lot of media attention as he saved a lady’s life on Monday, who then married on Friday of that same week. Read all about it for yourselves by clicking on the links below to access the online reports:



The God that is Steve at Cathedral Cove.

The God that is Steve, at Cathedral Cove.

Heading off on Sunday morning the sun decided to come out and what a 3 hour trip we had!

The sun will come out

The sun will come out

The Rib was able to get really close to so many rock and cliff formations…and wildlife you could literally touch!

Hungry birds

Hungry birds

Tree-mendous stacks

Tree-mendous stacks

S and S

Big sky meets big sea

The Champagne glass

“The Champagne Glass” – sadly upside down and empty

Largest sea cave in the southern hemisphere

The largest sea cave in the southern hemisphere

Inside the cave the fish came out to play

Inside the cave, the fish came out to play

It was such a fun trip….

Smile please

Smile please as we pass through what is known as the “washing machine”

Captain Cook - you know, the bloke from Middlesbrough - named this Cathedral Cove

Captain Cook – the bloke from Middlesbrough – named this Cathedral Cove – Sarah impressed as you can see!


Get a shave

And then WOW. Steve got a call to say there was a pod of Bottlenose dolphins in the Bay around the corner.  We sped off.  The first sight we had, came when one of these amazing creatures started jumping over a chap on a kayak nearby. Within minutes there were dolphins everywhere around our boat, heading towards the centre of the main estuary channel.  I decided to get in amongst them as you do – and they decided to move on, so that was the end of my swimming with dolphins bit.  No wet suit Phil W in the north!

Look at the size of the white bull (bottom)

Look at the size of the white bull (bottom)

Everywhere you looked

Everywhere you looked

Side by side

Side by side – two mates out for a swim

Out of focus, but you get the sort of idea

Out of focus, but you get the sort of idea

I frightened them off

I frightened them off – so I hung on the back of the rib as it headed off at speeds of 30 mph, my hair blowing in the wind from the big inboard motors

The two videos I took on my 35mm camera perhaps give a better idea – sorry about the shakes and the poor quality… Click on the link or the video arrow and have a look…

And so we say good-bye to New Zealand.  Only two days in Auckland before we fly over the international date-line to Chile on Sunday.  A few days in Santiago and then another couple of flights up to Ecuador for the start of our tour to the Amazon Jungle and beyond.  Wifi is doubtless going to be harder to access, so we will post when we can. In the meantime, a massive thank you to all those who continue to email, phone, text, Skype, WhatsApp, Viber and post comments on the site.  We are getting on average 200+ unique views from around the World per blog from over 58 countries, excluding the rest of the site.  So a big thank you from us for following us and thanks for the amazing comments – we really appreciate it.

We "wave" goodbye to New Zealand

We “wave” goodbye to New Zealand… next stop somehere that sounds colder but is actually warmer – Chile – another wine producing country.  Get the real reason for this trip?


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21 thoughts on “A TIDE of SALTY emotion as we WAVE goodbye to the country of….

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  1. Andy

    Ahhh wonderful blue skies, I do remember those, back in 1976 🙂 Its been a bit windy and rainy the last few days with winds recorded over 100mph at the Needles on the Isle of Wight. Thankfully my fences have stayed up and my washing dried instantly. Keep up the excellent blog, wonderful reading and viewing as we pass through winter.


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