Adventures for Scardy Cats

Did I mention I am boring? I am boring. borrring.. god.. i bore myself so much somedays. I decided to make a list of things that might make me less boring, at least to myself if not to anyone else. Seemed a lot of things on my list were activities and physical - one of them was to snorkle at Goat Island.

I've been trying to write this post for a while now.

I've been able to tell people in words - with my mouth/words - about my List of Adventures but have so far failed to get it out via text. I have a headache this morning [damn Kiwis losing to the Kangaroos last night at Sun Corp Stadium] and Jeff Buckley on the iTunes so I'll give it another go.

A while ago [no, I'm not going to find the post and link back to it, you should've been paying attention] [oo this headache's making me mean] I was lamenting my lack of activity in the weekends - felt weekends weren't weekends and I wasted a lot of my time in my pyjamas. So, I came up with a plan: The Adventure List. Which is exactly what it sounds like: a list of things/adventures that I've always wanted to do [and in some cases, done] with the thought that I'd do at least one thing per month [keeping it real, people] and I was allowed to repeat listed items if I had fun doing them.

Now, I'm not going to post my list here because I have enough people laughing at me as it is and you don't need the mental image of me hauling my flat arse up an indoor rockclimbingwall - but I've managed to do one item on the list already (go me) and I posted the photos (see Goat Island/Goat Island the sequel) below. Of course, if you'd been one of the people I've spoken to you'd know what that was all about but if you are a visitor here you wouldn't cos - well - I didn't post any words to go with the photos.

My ex-husband has been trying to get me up to Goat Island for years and of course, we don't do anything he wants to, right? right. That's why we're divorced! But he hasn't nagged me about it for a while so, in typical brat fashion, I decided it was *my* idea, and bundled up a thermos of Milo, a banana or two (i'm a kiwi picnic'r) my mask, snorkle, snaffled flippers and David and drove the 90 minutes up to Goat Island, just out of Liegh North of Warkworth. So, you know where it is now too.

We went last Friday. I wanted to get up there before the official school holidays started because I'd heard this marine reserve was super busy at the best of times. That, and any excuse to slack off on a brilliantly fine Friday workday. It was easy to find - there were hardly any people there - a dozen cars in the carpark at best, and the weather was perfect.

Now, I haven't snorkled in years. YEARS. I think the last time I did was in Fiji in 1998. I'm naturally bouyant, but completely afraid of deepwater and swaying kelp [alert: chicken in the water!] I hear the soundtrack of Jaws in the back of my head the entire time I'm in the water, I can't equalise so can't dive down too deep or stay there for long and to make me the undisputed Queen of the Wusses, I also tend to get seasick. I know.. pathetic isn't it? But there I am, in the water - which was warm enough so no need for a wetsuit - forgetting how scared I can get, how tight that fist in my chest can be [mantra: don't remember the eel incident from Rarotonga don't remember the eel incident from Rarotonga] mask suctioned to my face, snorkle jammed in my mouth (nozzle pointing *into* the water until I figured out how to twist it round the right way) snorkling at Goat Island.

And it's completely brilliant!

So many fish. A little murky - it's not clear like it is in the tropics but considering how cold NZ waters can get it was absolute bliss.

me: fish are a lot like cats.
dave: in that they run away when they see you coming too?

We noticed the "do not feed the fish" signs and of course, we didn't *coughs* we didn't bring frozen peas with us and we didn't put them in David's pockets, and we didn't stream them out across the surface of the water to attract a fish feeding frenzy - because that would be wrong.

We did, however, take photos. Greg has an old Nikonos underwater camera from his diving days and I snaffled it that morning on the way past his house. It's completely manual and you never know what's going to come out and what's not. We rattled off a roll of film and I'll post the pics as soon as I get round to developing (how very 1998) the film.

Dave and I snorkled for hours. Hours and hours. After a while I noticed we were practically the only people left at Goat Island and definately the only people still in the water. The sun was getting lower and I thought maybe it might be time to start thinking about leaving. We sat up on the beach, each wearing the pressure marks of our masks, wrapped in sunwarmed towels, sipping hot milo and talking about what we'd seen. How great it was, and how we should come back real soon.. and made a return date for Sunday.

So we did it all again on Sunday and swam out deeper and saw even bigger fish. Took another roll of film [god film is so expensive] and drank more milo on a more overcast beach. There were a lot more people on the Sunday - the marine reserve is so accessable you can't blame people for coming to see. You can see fish without ever getting wet - standing on the rocks you can see the brilliant blue mau mau schooling around the surface. It's completely brilliant.

live gecko display at auckland museum

me: gecko are a lot like cats.
dave: god, mum, you think everythings like cats!

This weekend, my adventure is more sedate. I'm taking photos for my 26 Things. I've done this twice before [see button'd links in the sidebar] and know how much time/work it can be. Again, bundling David up we visited the Museum yesterday with my intention of sketching while he wandered the exhibits. We ended up sticking together and not doing any sketching but taking photos (he's doing the 26 things too). I really do enjoy that boy's company.

So, I still have my headache, but I'm feeling less mean about it. Mouse is in the hallway trying to disembowel a rubber duck, Jeff Buckley's been replaced by The Veils on iTunes and it might be time to ditch the pjs for the camera and go take some more photos to flesh out my 26 Things before it starts raining again.

Have a groovy weekend, people. You deserve it.