Friday, 27 July 2012

Day 52 - Friday 27th July - The Poor Knights Islands

Today we woke up very early as we had to be at the dive shop by 8am!!! You might think we were going diving but not quite ... Snorkelling :)

We had to be kitted out with masks, wetsuits, shoes, snorkels etc before boarding our boat.

Once on the boat off we sailed to the Poor Knights Islands on a very choppy sea. There were a few people being sick but Luke and I must have sea legs as we were fine.


The very rough seas coming out of Tutukaka

Rough seas


The islands were named by Captain Cook as they look quite like a poor knight's burial. When knight's died if they were poor they were not buried as such but laid out on their backs with their shields on their chests.

The Poor Knights Islands - his head is to the right, can you see Captain Cook's imagery of the island?



Near the islands we headed first for a rock covered in seals basking in the sun.


Seals

How many seals can you spot in this photo?

Once at the islands we anchored up and got all our gear on before jumping into the cool-cold sea waters for snorkelling. We saw lots of fishes of lots of different shapes, sizes and colours. Luke even thought he saw a shark, which is quite feasible in these waters.

After an hour or so we jumped back on board and warmed up with cuppa soups and hot drinks. Whilst having lunch we sailed around the islands a little and went into the World's largest Sea Cave. Amazing!! Especially the acoustics.

Looking out of the World's Largest Sea Cave

The Sea Cave

The sea cave from the outside looking in, once in there it looks 4 times the size!!

At our next anchorage site we jump off for more snorkelling around a hole in the rocks, there were loads of bright blue fishes interspersed with large pink fishes. We also saw an eel.

Our snorkelling bay with the small hole in the rock

Once throughly cold we jumped back onboard and got properly warmed up and dry before heading back to the mainland. On our way back we sailed through a hole in a rock!! I've always wanted to see a sea arch and now I've seen a few in NZ and I've sailed through one!!!!!

The sea arch we were about to sail through

The sea arch having sailed through and safely out the other side

Luke and I on the boat, The Calypso

Back on dry land we drove on for an hour to reach the Bay of Islands area and the township of Paihia for the night. On the drive we saw an incredible sunset.

Sunset seen from the campervan

Another amazing view of the sunset

The sunsetting behind a farm house

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