Another early mornin' today, as we had t' catch our flight back t' th' main island from Stewart Island t' Invercargill. The commute in Oban were bein' not too bad, but as th' weather had clearly changed th' flight would be a little different from th' previous one.
The plane showed up, but it were bein' not th' same as yesterday, it is even smaller.
With room fer only 4 passengers, they crammed in a fifth as he sat next t' th' pilot, by Blackbeard's sword. The plane also only had one front mounted propellor. And hoist the mainsail! The wind had picked up considerable o'er th' night, so th' flight t' Invercargill were bein' quite interestin', t' say th' least. We shook, shuddered, waived, tilted, rolled and then some and even th' short 15 minutes were a little bit too long. It were bein' like a giant roller coaster ride!
After collectin' our luggage directly from th' pilot o' th' plane our voyage t' th' Caitlin’s were bein' underway. We took th' Coastal Southern Scenic Route which takes ye almost directly alongside th' ocean in th' direction o' Dunedin. Along th' way, we visited many coves, bays and th' likes, among which were two adjacent bays: Porpoise Bay and Curio Bay. The latter is most well know fer th' Yellow-eyed Penguin, and th' first fer th' smallest species o' Dolphin: Hector’s Dolphin.
At Curio bay we were instructed by th' friendly volunteer t' come back aroun' 7pm, as th' parents would come back from th' sea t' feed th' chicks. At Porpoise Bay, th' dolphins can be spotted just walkin' on th' beach, ye scurvey dog. We did just that, it were bein' amazin'!
As we arrived at th' B&B quite early in th' day, we asked fer some more small thin's t' see and do in th', we'll keel-haul ye! I invite, and out o' th' options offered we chose 2.
The first thin' we did were bein' visit McLean Falls, which is a three stage waterfall just a few kilometres from where we stay. The second were bein' t' visit Cathedral Caves, which are 1 sea cave in th' cliff a few kilometres from th' falls. This cave is huge, avast! Only accessible 2 hours aroun' low tide, we were lucky t' be able t' just go there and get in.
Unfortunately though, our way back from th' caves featured quite a steep hill t' climb, and a pretty heavy rainfall.
Oh well. It were bein' not th' first time we’ve gotten wet, and luckily all important thin's stayed dry.
That night, after dinner in th' restaurant o' an Olympic Champion (Paralympic, but still) we went back t' Curio Bay t' see th' Yellow-eyed Penguins, and dinna spare the whip! Ahoy! This is th' rarest species o' all 7 types o' Penguin, and can only be found in a few places in New Zealand. Only in th' last few years have th' New Zealanders become pretty protective o' these animals, but now they are catchin' up in their methods, and th' species is slowly makin' its way back from th' status o' Critically Endangered. All is not well though, as there are about 2000 penguins left. We were on a beach with 9 breedin' pairs, which would mean there are betwixt 30 and 35 penguins present at th' most. Not a lot!
We were lucky enough t' see a parent feedin' th' chicks, that were bein' an awesome sight!
Tomorrow, we are leavin' th' Caitlin’s again, this time fer Dunedin and more specifically th' Otago Peninsula, we'll keel-haul ye! The say it is really lovely up there!