Sunday 30th September: John’s 30th Birthday
What a day! I will start with a brilliant picture of the day:
[I haven’t had internet access as we are staying in the middle of nowhere at the moment, so am posting a bit retrospectively to catch up what we did. In this instance it is also easier to post all the pictures at the end of this posting in a gallery.]
We had the best day of our New Zealand Adventure so far today – which is perfect as it coincided with John’s Birthday! We made an early start (after luckily awaking early and realising we hadn’t put our clocks forward!) and drove towards Picton to meet a couple who were taking us out on their boat. We decided to privately charter a boat rather than go on a big tour with others – as it was John’s 30th and a once in a lifetime chance! We met Ian and Sybil – who run Queen Charlotte Boat Charters – at their house and got the boat (‘Stormdancer’) from Waikawa Marina near their house.
The weather was perfect and the water was calm. We spent a good three and a half hours out on the boat travelling around Marlborough Sounds. We barely saw another boat and really enjoyed the peace and tranquility out on the water. It was incredibly beautiful as we traveled around small coves and took in the views. We saw a little seal bobbing in the water (see pic below in the gallery) as well as lots of birds and fish. The icing on the cake came when rather unexpectedly we came across a pod of dolphins which swam all around the boat and followed the boat as we travelled through the water. We took some pictures of them and it really was a wonderful sight! We felt so privileged to be out in the isolation and wilderness and to see these beautiful creatures. We were sad to come in off the water but had had a truly once in a lifetime experience and a really memorable birthday for John.