May 9

Our day was spent in Wellington, preparing for our departure to the South Island. We embark on the next leg of our adventure at 3:30 am tomorrow morning.

When we arrived in Wellington we drove through town and out past Miramar. We stopped at several little inlets along the way.

At one we encountered a man spearfishing. He hauled out several large crayfish and paua. We decided that since we weren’t meeting Helen (my New Zealand mum) until 6 pm or so, we had plenty of time to go for a dive. And so, we (wet)suited up for my second ever diving excursion. Let me tell you, it is freakin’ cold! We spent over an hour in the water. I lost feeling in my toes after about 45 minutes. Dragging myself on shore with frozen toes was a challenge; it was made no easier by the fact that, despite checking dozens of paua, we only found one of legal size. Once my lips lost their purple color and I realized my toes were going to regain feeling, I appreciated how much fun I had had.

We headed to Cuba Street to meet Helen for dinner at a traditional Malaysian place. The food was excellent and it was wonderful to catch up with Helen.

Once she headed home, we headed to a rooftop bar just off of Courtenay Place to meet one of Zhoel’s cousins. He hadn’t seen her since she was 2 years old (she is now 22!) so they had a lot to catch up on. Emma and her boyfriend, James, were excellent company and it was good fun getting to know them a bit.

After we said goodbye to them, we headed down to the ferry terminal to repack our roof racks and arrange our car for the ferry ride. It felt like a very long wait until 2:30 am when we could line up for boarding!

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