Saturday, March 17, 2018

Christchurch to Te Anu

We left Christchurch, on our way to Te Anu, and the home of another family friend, Peter and Bev. Peter had arranged a private, three day/two night trip upon a yacht to Doubtful Sound. This is a very remote area, and requires quite a bit of organizing to get all of your gear/food/wine etc to the boat. First you load everything onto the aluminum skiff, which makes the run across the lake to a small bay. This part, Jeanne and I got to ride on a nice warm ferry. The we unload the gear of the boat, and onto the truck to haul it up over the pass to West Arm, Doubtful Sound where the big boat is laying at moor. Launch the dinghy, to get to the boat, bring it to the end of the wharf, and load all the gear. Finally, we are off, and this place is beautiful! Reminds me very much of Desolation Sound, up in BC.

After a short tour, the Captain Miles, goes over the side in his dive gear and in a matter of minutes brings up 8 lobsters!  We are gonna eat good tonight,. But, wait it gets better, then we go fishing for Blue Cod, and catch 5 or 6 which are added to the nights meal. A couple bottle of wine, a salad and this is a meal fit for kings!

The next day we head around the end of the sound, and out towards to open ocean. Things out there are pretty bumpy, with 25 + winds and by the time we are out of the opening to the sound, in 4 to 5 meter waves. There are hundreds of ocean birds, especially Sooty Shearwaters, along with a couple of albatross.

In addition to the water based birds, I found Tui's, Silvereyes, Weka's, Bellbirds, and Paradise Sheldrake Ducks.

Here is the little Tomtit

This is the beautiful singing Bellbird

The smaller albatross's in this area are called Mollymawks. This is the White-capped Mollymawk

Ant this is the Buller's Mollymawk

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