Thursday, November 20, 2008
New Zealand - Nov 20, 2008 - Logan
Location: End of Old Beach Road, just north of Kaikoura
Time: 10 pm
Elevation: 2 m
Animals: a few seals & lots of seabirds
Breakfast: Eggs, bacon, hash browns & toast at Devon Hotel
Lunch: Lamb meat pie and potato wedges at the Antarctica Visitor Center
Supper: Whole crayfish, whitefish patty, and rice at roadside shack.
Me in front of the Clothing Distribution Center.
My crayfish dinner!
After a relaxed morning we went to the Clothing Distribution Center (CDC) where we got outfitted with our Extreme Cold Weather (ECW) gear. This included a huge down jacket (common called Big Red), another shell jacket, hard shell bibs, multiple sets of gloves, hats, fleece jackets and pants, and long underwear. This gear gets checked out every year by people working in Antarctica so most of it is used and quite a bit worn, but some of it is newish. After this we started driving north along the coast and we stopped in Kaikoura for dinner. Kaikoura is a Maori word with kai meaning food and koura meaning crayfish, so naturally I wanted to try some crayfish here. I was expecting to find crayfish like we have in the states, about 3-5" long, but boy was I surprised when they served me a crayfish that at about a foot long was as big as a small lobster! After dinner we headed out to a beach that a local had told us we could camp for free at. When we arrived we met a New Zealand fishing guide who was fishing for a type of shark called a rig right off the beach. He caught one that was about 3-1/2' long just before we arrived and it was really cool to check it out. We found out lots of interesting thing from him, like for example this past winter has been the first typical winter in about a decade in terms of weather and snowfall and rig is the best meat to use for fish & chips. After watching a gorgeous sunset we fell asleep on the beach.