Tuesday, February 6, 2018

This Blog - Falling Behind; Me - Having Fun

Wow!  I've been a blogging slacker this trip.  Let me do a quick update of my first 6 days in country.

January 31 - arrival, picked up rental car and made my way (about 40 minutes) to my first Airbnb -- a wonderfully convenient spot located next to the campus of the University of Auckland.

February 1 - Awoke refreshed - and noted that common Portland weather had followed me with rain forecast for the day.  I decided to make it a museum day and was able to hike about a mile to the Auckland War Memorial Museum - but while it is that, it contains so much more on the natural history, population, demographics, settlement, and indigenous treasures.

By the time I was feeling like I'd seen it all, the rain was heavy -- so I grabbed an Uber and headed off to the Auckland waterfront to visit New Zealand Maritime Museum.  This place was well done -- including reconstructions of steam ship cabins and an excellent exhibit on GPS - which I found fascinating because of my own early interest in GPS technology.

February 2 - This day was mostly rain free, allowing me to take in a "free" walking tour of Auckland which was superb.

February 3 - An easy travel day out of Auckland to my next Airbnb destination in "Ngunruru" -- just a few minutes from the dive center in "Tutukaka," launch point to the world class diving sites at the Poor Knights Islands -- about an hour boat ride from shore.  I took time to visit the nearby beach town of Orewa and get my first experience with a New Zealand "flat white" coffee.  Superb!  For Americans, it can best be described as the way a great coffee shop (not Starbucks!) makes a latte in the USA -- it's all about the micro-bubbles that form the cream.

February 4 - This had been scheduled as my day to dive Poor Knights -- but the weather and ocean swells were so intense that all diving was cancelled.  I made good use of the time exploring the coast line in the area -- and when the weather allowed -- doing some hiking.

February 5 - The weather turned wonderful and the diving trip with 27 others was perfect.  I was joined up with a partner in a group of 4 (all advanced divers) with a guide for two dives at Poor Knights.  So many fish -- such beauty.  As I posted on Facebook -- these dives brought me to 41 dives since I first dove 28 months ago -- and added a 4th country (previous dives in Indonesia, Australia, and Mexico).