Monday, April 13, 2009

Holy Mackerel! Jake caught a shark.

That's right. Before I tell you about tramping in the Marlborough Sounds, I need to share the story of the (alleged*) shark Jake caught on Day 2. We spent the day before and the day after hiking, so we we were relaxing and enjoying the gorgeous weather on Saturday.

After a bit of morning kayaking and lunch, Jake rows me out into the Endeavor Inlet and we each cast a line. I'm not usually a big fan of fishing, but I was having a good time.

We caught a couple of these little guys and decided they're not big enough for dinner. Then Jake gets a huge bite on his line and reels this monster up! 

The two fought for a while, and I saw a bunch of sharp little teeth as Jake freed the hook. After getting a bit of photographic evidence, he threw him back. Good thing, because I have no idea how to cook that kind of creature.

*Okay, so maybe it's a shark and maybe its something else. If any of our readers has a degree in marine biology and/or can confirm this is some type of shark, please post a comment and let us know! However if you can tell it's NOT a shark, please keep that information to yourself. After all, no one likes a know-it-all. :)

And now, the rest of the story...
As I mentioned, we walked for two days and chilled out for one. We have a new backpack, but we were happy to hear that the water taxi that took us to the trail head would deliver it to our destination each night. Sweet.

Here's a Maori totem pole at the trail head in a place called Ship's Cove. Apparently Capt. Cook visited there several times back in the day. 

It was at Ship's Cove where we were introduced to the area's wildlife. At first, when we heard bushes rustling as some mysterious little critter raced by, we didn't get a clear look at it...

We later found that it was a Weka, a little guy who will steal your sandwich as soon as look at you, according to a local lady I spoke to. They were all over the place. 

The views from the trail were amazing. The weather was fantastic, and we spent much of our hiking under a canopy of silver ferns and other cool trees.

I learned the difference between the geological terms sounds and fjords. A sound is reflective of much of the other terrain in NZ -- very hilly with steep slopes, lots of gorges and valleys -- that have been flooded. I heard three-quarters of the height of these hills are under water. And a fjord is something that's been cut by a glacier. Haven't seen any of those yet, but they're on our list.

It was our first time in backpacker lodges, and while I didn't get any pics, I can tell you they're mostly simple, affordable and smelly to varying degrees. But a fun way to interact with other travelers and experience life as a real tramper.

Maximum load of this suspension bridge = one person. Hope I didn't pack too much in my backpack.

Found lots of cool little caves in the inlet where we stayed. 

And here's Picton, our arrival/departure city on the South Island where we caught the Interisland Ferry across the 22 km or so of ocean that separates NZ's islands. 



A 42 said...

The places you guys go are more and more beautiful. I know you're adventurous but be careful catching sharks! :)~

If you meet any official representative from Maori community organization, would you mind trading my info with them?

Corey said...

I recognize that fish.

Anonymous said...

OMG, Jake, you have definitely outfished me yet again! Looks like a shark to me, tho I'm no marine biologist. I'm impressed. Your blog is SO interesting and I love seeing all the pictures and reading the material. "Smelly backpacker lodges" must be tolerated in order to get the full flavor of the area, you know?

Anonymous said...

All fish must fear him...

granma joy said...

hi, just saw the shark jake caught and i am most positive it was a shark. that is my story and i am sticking to it. We just had supper with your parents and it was gooood. it is still coolhere and i am waiting for warm weather. i have 7 new capri outfits to wear and I am anxious to wear them. Have a busy work week ahead of me, it is the week before mothers day. better go, granpa said hello he loves you and all that stuff love granma joy