The Misadventures of Kai and Pixel »

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Camping on Urupukapuka Island

Highlights of our four day camping adventure on Urupukapuka Island:

  • Seeing dolphins, orcas, sting rays in Urupukapuka Bay.  Kai now asks what’s in the water before he goes in.  Fair enough, I guess.
  • Eating a crazy seafood banquet thanks to Rachel and Shonty’s friends.  It included red snapper, kingfish, crayfish (that big lobster-like thing that Kai is holding), paua (abalone), mussels, scallops.  Seriously.
  • Santa visiting our tent, and the crazy Christmas unwrap chaos.
  • Kai discovering kayaking with his cousins
  • Kai, Austie, Vinnie sliding down the grass hill by our tent on boogie boards, an air mattress and plastic row boat
  • Our Christmas present from Rachel and Shonty: they dropped Andreas and me off at one end of the island so we could hike back to our bay.  That one hike has convinced Andreas that we need to come back to New Zealand for more!
  • Vinnie walking around with one sock on.  Everywhere.  As his big toe nail hangs on precariously, even the shoeless wonder had to agree that socks might not be a bad idea.  Well, one sock at least.

There are some additional photos in this set from Matuari Bay (Part 2) and Long Beach in Russell (the sand fight…)

Matauri Bay

Yesterday our beach adventure to Oke Bay was cut short when the shoeless wonder (my nephew Vinnie) almost ripped off his big toe nail on a boogie board. I should point out that shoes wouldn’t have saved him in this situation.

Today, after an almost full recovery (toe nail dangling precariously), we hit the beach at Matauri Bay about 40 minutes north of where Rachel and Shonty live.  Yeah, just another average New Zealand day…


Pirate adventures

For an adventure on my birthday, I took Kai and my two nephews on a pirating adventure — at least that’s how I sold it.  We walked from Haruru Falls (where Rachel and Shonty live) to Paihia on the Waitangi Track, a 6-kilometre trail through a mangrove swamp and forests.  My tough little nephew Vinnie managed the whole rocky, gravelly, uneven trail with no shoes (he doesn’t wear them), but when we got to the golf course at the end of the trail, he decided the grass was far too prickly for his feet.  Nothing a little ice cream couldn’t fix.

From Paihia, we took the ferry to Russell, and the pirates helped to sail the ferry across to the waiting pirate ship, aka the R. Tucker Thompson, a tail sailing ship.  The scary pirate captain got the boys in line, and they helped with the rigging and ate all of the pirate food.  After a beautiful two-hour sail, we returned to Paihia.  Facing exhaustion, Kai and Vinnie chose to run around like mad men while the adults had a drink.  Sure enough, pirate day ended with a bloody nose and fat lip for Kai as he stumbled against a wooden chair.

Other photos include the feast for fake Christmas — our early Christmas dinner.  On the big day, we’ll be camping on an island away from modern conveniences like ovens.