With Seattle in winter, Nigel and Kristin headed to NZ to instruct and to tour. Here are a few images from their trip with explanatory captions.
Mauraki Boulders; huge naturally formed stone globes emerging from the cliffs and scattered across the sand.
Like a seashore sculpture....
Kristin... waiting for the tide to come in?
The cliffs of Milford Sound in SW of South Island dwarf the cruise ship. (Susan Cade paddles in foreground)
Kristin near Stirling Falls
Kristin heads for a gap, rock-hopping on the outer coast
Misty conditions near the entrance to Milford Sound.
A week or so earlier we heard the tragic news of Australian Andrew McCauley who had kayaked almost the entire crossing from Tasmania to Milford Sound, only to meet disaster within sight of new Zealand. His kayak was found, but so far, no sign of Andrew. Our hearts go out to his family.
Getting a better view by standing up in the kayaks...
A kea; intelligent yet quite destructive mountain parrot, investigates the kayaks. Sometimes they completely remove rubber seals from around car windows, a trait shared by black vultures in Florida. We chased this one away when its razor-sharp beak began slicing the hatch lids.
The kea, ready to eat the camera.
World renowned expedition kayaker Paul Caffyn (to the right) drifts with John Kirk-Anderson and Kristin Nelson, Marlborough Sounds.
New Zealand summer river water can be pleasantly warm...
Ferns... as trees
To the left, an example of the Kauri tree, an extremely slow-growing and long-lived species. This particular example was already growing before the arrival of the first people (who became the Maori) to New Zealand. To the right, a much more recent arrival.