Sarah was up at 6 to take pictures of the sunrise which was almost as beautiful as last nights' moonrise. Leisurely breakfast then we packed up to head for Kaikoura. Spent the morning exploring and were able to find 5 geocaches in town and on the peninsula. Neat spots that we would have missed had we not been looking for caches! Lunched at World Famous Kaikoura Seafood BBQ- really quaint spot right on the beach. Then we headed out for some deep sea fishing. It was a hoot!! We all climbed into the small boat on the beach and then Gerard (who reminded us so much of Milt it was scary) backed us into the water with an ancient tractor. The outboard motor then got clogged with sand before we even left the harbour (curse of the boating Downey's??). Finally on our way, we head out to pull up some crayfish traps. In the first one a female crayfish with eggs that we had to toss back in and in the second trap was an octopus which they don't normally catch! Sarah, Pete and I touched a tentacle and it was slimey and the minute we did, it swung around and the sucker stuck to our finger! You had to pull quite hard to get it off-when it was stuck to the bait box the guy had to put his boot on the box for leversage to pull it off. When we through itback in the sea it inked- neat to see up close! There were Hector dolphins swimming and playing alongside the boat on the way out and back in. There are only 700 of them left in the world. We went to a sheltered cove to see the seal colony and the area where they used to bring in the whales. Then we went out further to start fishing. We all caught a bunch of sea perch, not good for much except bait and to feed the albatross that were landing around us. Neat to see them up close and watch them flip the fish into position so they could swallow it whole. They needed to have the perch head first or the spines would rip their throats. It was really rough with swells in 2 different directions- some of us were a little green but no sickies. We were pulling in our rods to head to another spot when I noticed a big fish swim under the boat. It was a blue shark about 4 feet long. We dropped our lines just into the water to keep him around and the 2 guides gaffed it and drug it onto the back of the boat. They were super excited because they don't usually have them around the boat. Steve tried to help them pull it the rest of the way into the boat but they couldn't get it in. It was quite exciting for awhile and they said that if they had gotten it on the deck it would have gone really crazy- just as glad they didn't in a way LOL. We then fished closer to shore and caught red cod which they filleted for us to take. Pete caught a really big one- about 2 1/2 feet. When we got to shore Gerard had 4 crayfish cooked for us to take in the camper. Don't know how we are going to eat them but we will give it a go. We are heading to Picton to catch the ferry and he knew we didn't have time to stay and eat them before we left. It will be neat to try it because in Maori, Kaikoura means eat crayfish.Traffic was light and we made the 630 ferry across. Had a great chicken dinner onboard and plan to stop as soon as we get off the ferry at the Capitol Gateway Inn and Park. Checked in and they closed the door behind us- just made it! Another awesome day despite the seas.
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