Swimming with Hector's Dolphins

After recovering from strep throat from a rainy weekend on the Kepler Track, I caught a bus up to Christchurch to visit Megan for the weekend.  We rented a cheap car and drove out to Akaroa harbor where Black Cat Cruises offers trips to see Hector's Dolphins.  I wasn't quite sure who this Hector guy was but his dolphins were supposedly really friendly.  They are the smallest dolphins in the world and are only native to New Zealand waters.  The crew at Black Cat insisted that if we blew bubbles and yelled into our snorkels that they would be more interested in us and stick around longer  I don't know if that really worked but we were lucky enough to get some mono-a-dolphin face time with the little guys.

Swimming with Hector's Dolphins from Tyler Grubb on Vimeo.

-Tyler Grubb

Kepler Track to Luxmore Hut

Kepler Track from Tyler Grubb on Vimeo.

Its been awhile since I updated here. Partly responsible is my supposed shock-proof, water-proof, freeze-proof camera somehow freezing, breaking or getting water in it during my weekend at Awakino Skifield. I've relied on my GoPro HD Hero for most of my time while abroad and have put together another video story of a trip on the Kepler Track. A big group of nine of us hiked up to the Luxmore Hut on a rainy Friday morning. We fooled around with crampons and ice axes on Mt. Luxmore, climbing up a tight couloir to the summit. A couple of us also explored the underground river of Luxmore Cave. By the time some snow flurries swooped in the next morning, we were on our way back to the van and home to Dunedin.

-Tyler Grubb

Weekend on the Abel Tasman Track

Abel Tasman Track from Tyler Grubb on Vimeo.

"So you're ok on the manual transmission right?"
"O we'll give you a quick 10 minute run through and you'll be fine."

The car rental employee didn't seem to mind that I had never driven a stick-shift before, even if I was driving 20 hours over the weekend. I quickly found out that if you never come to a full stop, you don't have to worry about stalling it trying to put it back into gear. Even with the no-stop strategy I managed to stall it at least 4 times on the drive to Christchurch last Wednesday night. Megan and I headed up to the Abel Tasman Track, one of New Zealand's Great Walks. Its a beautiful trail along the coast of the South Island that loops between rainforest and white sand beaches. We hiked 12 miles the first day there to reach our own private beach campsite with views of the turquoise ocean at the Medlands Campsite. After a night bonfire, we hiked another 9 miles to Awaroa Beach where we devoured a steak dinner at the Lodge before camping again and catching a water taxi back to the beginning in the morning. Along the way we crossed a suspension rope bridge, encountered jellyfish, played with hermit crabs, spotted seals, and stirred up a stingray. The Abel Tasman will for sure go down as one of my favorite highlights from down under.

-Tyler Grubb

Rave in the Cave

Photo: Tommy
cave2After being holed up for a couple weeks after mid semester break in Dunedin, a bunch of friends and I organized a beach party at an infamous cave just outside of town.  The cave was huge and provided some pretty good acoustics for the sound system we hauled in.  After hauling everything down people cooked dinner on the fire.   I opted for a little more gourmet than hot dogs or marshmallows and slapped a salmon fillet down on the fire.  Unfortunately, just as it was looking finished I dropped it into the hot coals and nearly burnt my hand off.

Photo: Niamh

Photo: Niamh
The rest of the night went a little better with a pack of Speights and a little midnight swim. 
-Tyler Grubb