Monday, March 3, 2014

South Island Pt. 3

 Farth north up the west coast we went... The picture to the left was taken in a place called Castle Hill. Narnia was filmed there!!!
We spent a few days in this area and checked out this cool cave that had a river running threw it and takes 40mins to walk through the whole thing. We still had lots of time till our ferry departure back to the north island so we decided to head to the end of the road on the west coast in a town called Karamea.

Living in the van and a tent for a month had been fun but when we got to Karamea we found this super cool hippie backpackers called Rongo's and splurged on getting a nice bed and room. This place was amazing. They had a huge garden where we could pick anything we wanted from it to use for meals and one of the nights we had a communal potluck! This places also is the home base for one of the radio stations and you can go dj live for anyone listening.

At Rongo's we made a few friends and brought two of them with us up north to Abel Tasman sense they were headed there too! Kathrine  from London, England and Katrien form Amsterdam, Netherlands hung out with us for almost a week! We had already been to Abel Tasman a few weeks earlier with my friend Alex but we loved the town of Takaka so much we thought it would be cool to come back. The day we got there, they were having a mardi gras celebration so we dressed up in plants cause that was all we could find lol. Near Takaka is Farawell Spit. We walked out on a lot of it but it goes for miles and its all sand dunes! Theres a photo bellow. The other photo is from the sacred Pupu springs, which I so happen to fall into.... while trying to take a photo...

Friday, February 21, 2014

South Island Part 2

We arrived in Queenstown and had a place to stay for free. We had picked up four guys that were hitch hiking back home after doing this few day backpacking trip called the Routeburn. It starts in Queenstown and takes you over the hills into the next valley. We thought it looked like a cool trail so we decided to do it the next day. Most people do it in three days. My father and I decided to charge it through and were done in a day and a half. Probable the most beautiful hike I have ever done. You go way up into the alpine regions and hike near huge alpine lakes and along all these ridge lines with snow just above you.

After Queenstown we headed more up the west coast to the glacier areas.  The two biggest glaciers in New Zealand are called Fox and Franz Josef. I have never been in a helicopter so I thought this would be the perfect place to splurge and ride in one over the glaciers. I also picked a perfect day and the mountains werent covered in clouds like usual. We even got to land on top of the mountains and walk around. My dad decided to not spend the money and go but I totally thought it was worth it!

The next day I went ice climbing at fox glacier for 8 hours. Man it was insane. I have been wanting to ice climb for so long!! It was for sure a dream come true. I cant wait to take my skills back to California.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

South Island of NZ pt 1

Sorry guys I really have gotten terrible at updating this thing....
So on Jan 16th my dad, my friend Alex and I got on the ferry to the south island! The ferry ride by the way is so beautiful. You cross the cook strait which is crazy windy (thank god we weren't sailing through it on our boat) and than you come into Good Charlotte Sound. All these beautiful forested little islands surround you for and hour and half.
After we go there we headed down the east coast towards Christchurch and stopped at a few places to surf along the way. Most beautiful backgrounds for surfing I have ever seen. We than headed inland towards our first glacier experiences and ended up at Mt. Cook. We went on this amazing hike that ended with a huge lake with glaciers floating in it and snow capped mountains all around us. We hung out there for awhile and than had to head back to Christchurch to drop off my friend Alex so he could head back to the USA

After Christchurch we headed down to the very South and over to the South West to the famous Milford Sound. The only downfall to NZ is these little things called Sand Flys and their bites are super painful and you itch for weeks. Milford Sound has tons of them. The Maori legend says that a Goddess greated them because she was afraid the people would come there and never leave because its so beautiful. She created the Sand Flys to remind the people they are mortal. The places really is amazing. Its all forest and protected. When it rains the mountains sides spill out hundreds of waterfalls all over. Next we headed to Queens
town. Home of extreme sporters.

Friday, January 17, 2014

New Zealand North Island Pt. 1

So I got really really far behind on updating this thing BUT I guess thats a good thing because I have been having a crazy full schedule here in NZ.
We sailed into the Bay of Plenty near a town called Tauranga. The only time we have ever had a very scary storm was that day when we tried to come into the bay. The waves were 20ft, the wind was 30+ knts and our steering and motor were broken! It was pouring so hard you couldn't see past a mile in front of you. We were getting really close to the shore and I was getting really freaked out. But than all of a sudden I looked to my left and saw a Penguin swimming by. In that moment I was like dam NZ is gonna be sick and was no longer afraid. We got into the harbor perfectly fine with some help of a Pilot Boat and were instantly treated so well. The people of NZ overall are so friendly and truly want to help you.
On Dec 28th my best friend April flew out to hang with us for a few weeks for her Christmas break. That kept me super busy because she loves to adventure and we would just do something cool and random everyday.

But sadly April left on Jan 16th. My friend Alex though flew in on the 11th and is with us till the 23rd. On the 16th we took the ferry from Wellington to Picton on the South Island and we will be here till Feb 24th! Heres a picture of my dad surfing in Raglan. We went there for a few days to try out the longest left break :)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Aitutaki, The Cook Islands

Kia Orana! Nov 9 to Nov 13 we got to hangout on this cool little island. Finally a place the speak English!!! My friend Chris Hornbeak told me about this little jem and we decided it sounded the coolest out of all the cook islands. And man we couldn't have picked a better place. It took us 7 days to get there and pretty much down wind sailing.
 This is an aerial view of the island. I didn't take it. I found it on google but it gives you a better idea of the island. At the top is the main landmass where all the people live. The highest elevation is like 200ft. Not very tall... Everyone there pretty much rides motorbikes since it is a very small island and any where you want to go is pretty close. We rented some and I had way to much fun just riding around looking at the palm trees while playing white horses by the Rolling Stones over and over.  Also you can see in this picture is that there are some motus (lil islands) and between them and the main island there is a HUGE pretty lagoon. All of that area is beautiful. Tons of pretty coral and fish! They also have giant clams.
Again we found such humble and friendly people and got invited to a bunch of events with tons of yummy food. This was by far my favorite place besides Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas. Its pretty unspoiled out of all the islands I've seen in the Pacific. I highly recommend visiting it someday! We realized though that it was pretty late in the season for us to just be getting to the Cook islands and having so much more distance to cover to get out of the hurricane belt that we randomly decided lets head to New Zealand and go adventure "down unda" so we left on the 13th and had to cross 1900 miles!

Bora Bora

"The most beautiful island in the world"

Man does it live up to its name... The entire outer reef around the island is filled with crystal clear turquoise water lagoons.  But in the middle of this entire beautiful island stands two beautiful peaks. Which allow you some hiking if you have been missing a little bit of land ;) We tied up the boat on a bouy in front of this cute little hotel that also acts as a marina for sailors called Hotel Marina Taina. They had an infiniti pool and free wifi for us to use, I felt a little spoiled. There are several little motus sorounding the main middle island. Everywhere you look you see the classic little villas on the water where you can jump right in from your back porch. Its cool but that’s all the people seem to build as hotels and they are everywhere. Which is kind of ugly in my perspective but hey that’s what people dream of staying in. One of the days my dad and I packed up a cooler with a few beers and some snacks and decided to motor arround the entire island in our dinghy. One of our stops was at The Meriden Hotel. They have a turtle clinc here just like the one on Moorea, BUT they allow you to swim with the turtles!!! As long as you don’t touch. There is a huge lagoon where they keep turtles that are being healed. There are about 20 in there from tiny babies to big adults. It was so cool. One even climbed on to my back and scared me real badly. I was afraid I was going to accidently hurt it.
We had been planning to leave Bora Bora on the Nov 1 but some how it just turned out to be a holiday and we couldn’t check out of the country. We had moved our boat to Vaitape the only boat harbor. A bunch of kids were hanging out on the end of our dock and we got to talking with them. Pretty soon our boat was overloaded with 20 kids jumping off and paddling around on our kayak and surfboards. We all hungout the whole afternoon playing ukelele and having soccer matches. It was really fun hanging out with people a little closer to my age. (No offense dad) It was still difficult to really talk to them because very little spoke much English and when 20 kids are yelling at you in french to do things with them it gets overwhelming… But me managed and ended up staying there for the weekend till Monday when we could check out. Monday came we got everything done and just left immedialty. We felt like our stay was over in Bora Bora and needed to get moving.  We were also excited to get to a place where people speak English. AITUTAKI, COOK ISLANDS!!

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Well the crossing over to Huahine from Mo'orea wasnt what we were expecting... Leaving there we were going 7 knots and ended going that fast the entire time! We got there a lot quicker than expected which was awesome but the ride over was terrible. My mother was sea sick the ENTIRE time haha and we were surfing/sailing down 20ft waves. Which freaked me out a little bit at times. But the Catnip pulled on through and my father and I sailed her her into the north west pass. On the way we saw some more whales!
My mom rented us a car one of the few days that we were there. We drove around the entire island and checked out a pearl farm! Also we had heard about these blue eyed eels in one of the rivers so we just had to find them! They were longer than me and whats cool is they don't have teeth so they don't bite. We didnt stay long in Huahine and it was also close to the time my mom had to be back in Papeete for her flight to Hawaii so we left her there and headed off to Bora Bora