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Kayaking in Abel Tasman National Park

Didn't bother showering today, since we're going kayaking first thing. We drove up to Marahau and were the only two on the tour, so they gave us single kayaks instead of a double (which is probably best, because doubles limit the individual freedom that we're both looking for). All decked out in farmer johns, sprayskirts, and a rainbow brite striped thermal shirt, we hopped into a trailer--pulled by a tractor. That tractor failed to start, so they towed the tractor-trailer boat-trailer with another tractor and chains. Nice.

The tractor #1 finally started and we used it to get to the launch point. The bay is broad and wide, but very shallow as we glide over the emerald green, clear water and watch the sunshine dance on the sand below. We travelled up the coast and into a lagoon that was filling with the rising tide, and we stopped to have a spot of tea and cake. The water crept over the dry sand like wet fingers grasping for more. From the lagoon beach, we crossed the swells to visit two islands, where we saw a seal sunbathing. The names of the local areas were given by an unimaginative Frenchman--Grand Beach, Anchorage, etc. We paddled back around 1300 for lunch and I was very sore for the effort. A quick shower and change before munching a bag lunch before we took a motorboat tour of the whole national wildlife preserve, where we saw a dozen seals hanging out on another island.

The boat dropped us off for a 30 minute hike around the outcropping--very cool plants and lighting. Got back in the boat and headed to the launch point. I think I like the quiet kayak experience more than cutting through each buffeting wave. The boat was met in the middle of the formerly full bay by a tractor-trailor half-submerged with the boat trailer in tow. There were huge sandy areas now and they were growing fast. They use the tractors to go very far into the ocean, but it's not very deep out there. Dinner was at "Hot Mama's" in town, then we packed to leave.

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