I was up very early for three reasons, I had not slept very well, I needed to pack and I was excited about what we would be doing today. Also I needed to have a little play with the underwater kit.
We piled all our kit into the minibus for the two hour drive to Akaroa on the peninsula that sticks out to the east of Christchurch.
The plan was to shoot some of the spectacular scenery on the way to the small harbour town that still has many signs of the French who were the first to colonise it before the Brits came along and took it over.
There are a lot of French flags flying and amongst other Gaulic names the Police station is called the Gendarmerie.
The spectacular scenic shots did not happen because the weather was to say the least not good.
The view hidden by the mist.
There was even a possibility that the outing we were all looking forward to might be called off.
When we got to the pretty town with its picturesque harbour the weather was not that bad, just grey and overcast.
Filming general views around the harbour.
Whatcha doin' Dan?
The Dolphin Centre.
Dan and I met Laura, a graduate in marine biology who would be our guide on the boat trip that would hopefully end up with us swimming with an endangered species in its own environment.
Although we thought that Dan might have come for another purpose entirely when we saw a sign in the shop!
Was it on these instructions that Dan had come here?
Hector’s dolphin are native to New Zealand and are only around a meter long, making them the smallest dolphins on the planet.
The two of us got kited up in thick wet suits and we all, along with eight other exited folk boarded the boat that would take us out into the bay in search of these cute little animals.
On the way we did some pieces to camera and I got some shots of the boat zipping out to where the dolphins might be frolicking in the water.
I also got some great shots of geese and other birds flying low over the water at great speed.
When some dolphins had been spotted the boat stopped and all the wet suited swimmers except me climbed into the sea.
I stayed onboard getting shots of Dan in the water.
Once I was happy with the shots that I had done from the boat I got out the new temporary toy, the camera in the underwater housing and went into the water with it to get shots from the same perspective as Dan.
In the water with Dan.
The visibility under the water was not very good at all and unless I was within a meter of anything it could not be seen.
I did get some shots of Dan and some of the elusive rare little animals but not from in the water because of the problem of the visibility and when I was in filming they did not come close enough for long enough to get a shot of them.
After the dolphin experience we had a delicious late lunch of fish, blue cod and chips in a nearby cafe where I got to experience another lovely Kiwi drink.
Another nice beverage from New Zealand.
Over coffee we once more attracted the attention of little feathered friends.
The birds just can't keep away from us.
Time for a silly team photo in three cauldron type things on the Akaroa sea front.
Then we had to head back to Christchurch and go to the airport to catch a plane to Dunedin an hours flight south.
In the airport terminal Nigel and I packed our kit away in our bags and flight cases.
For the first time since we started working in New Zealand we saw blue sky driving form Dunedin airport to the city in our hired cars.
Yahoo blue sky!
The sun was setting when we arrived at our hotel on the sea front.
The surf was well and truly up. From my bedroom window I could see lots of young dudes doing spectacular things on their boards in the foaming water.
Dunedin surf at sunset.
The cliffs to the east of Dunedin battered by the waves.
The experts taking full advantage of the conditions.
We went into the city for a very nice meal to round off a long but good day.
By the way, in case you hadn't realised it's a place not an instruction.