Funderful Whangarei

Trip Start Dec 14, 2007
Trip End Mar 16, 2009

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Where I stayed
Little Earth Lodge

Flag of New Zealand  ,
Wednesday, March 12, 2008

a launching point for the Poor Knights Island diving but ended up stay for three. We both felt that one night in Auckland wasn't going to be enough and the lodge we were staying at was very relaxing so we booked in for another night.
Earth Lodge was a few kilometres out of town on a farm which added to its relaxed and laid back feel. A short walk from the lodge is the Abbey Caves a series of 3 caves that are free to explore the lodge is also king enough to let you use helmets and shoes when exploring the caves. Being the keen cavers we are we didn't waste any time getting to the caves before dark. Not because we wouldn't be able to see in the cave but to ensure we would our way back to the lodge ;-).
The first cave we arrived at had a steep climb down to the mouth and had quite a bit of water streaming into the cave. I was a little apprehensive at first and Inge-Marie was not sure if she was in for this either. We only had one head torch so with a little coaxing we started the rocky descend. With in a few meters it's pitch black and the going was slow as I would take a few steps and then light the way for Inge-Marie who would follow. We got deeper and deeper till we were getting quite wet and were getting close to crawling. I decided to go ahead and scout the terrain, to keep the woman out of danger of course. Halfway through a little underground pond the tunnel was very low and knew Inge-Marie wouldn't have any of that so I decided to make my way back. Of course the water down here is crystal clear so I don't know why I missed the massive eel on my way through the pond. I got such a fright when I unsuspectingly almost stepped on the 1 meter long eel swimming around my feet.
Now depending on who you ask the story about my reaction when seeing the eel, you would get two quite different stories. My story would be I calmly assessed the situation, realised there was no immediate danger as this giant eel was most likely blind and didn't pose an immediate threat and then slowly moved out of it's path so as not to disturb it's fragile habitat. Inge-Marie might say she heard a load sound of someone saying "oohhhh shhhhttttt" and then within a flash going from standing in the water to perched on a nearby rock and then clearing the pond all together in two mighty leaps.
Regardless of who's story you believe we both agreed it might not be safe to wade waist deep into a pond that had a giant eel in it. So we gradually made our way back to the entrance often stopping to turn the lights off to see the hundreds of glow worms that inhabit the cave. 
Next morning we up early meet the boat at Tutukaka marina for the 50 minute trip to Poor Knight Islands
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