Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanks Giving...In Drag

Yo! So it’s been awhile since the last update and if anybody is still reading this here it goes! I guess I'll just start with the jist of what’s going on. Jay is back again working at the now newly opened Cafe Cortado. He is pretty pumped about that except for the fact that he now works like a dog, often doing ten hour shifts. Curt is also doing very well as he has had some trials, at the Cafe as well, and it seems he will be offered a job there soon. Good stuff, now we’re all pretty much employed.

Things are going well for me at compass charters. I get to work outside on the sound most of the time, and am learned to deal with my boss Arron. He's actually not that bad of a guy, he really likes me, he is just hard to work with. I am pretty sure he sees me as a younger version of him because he used to travel the world when he was younger. I on the other hand fail to see the similarities other than that. The other people I work with are pretty awesome and they keep me sane. Shirley is the sweetest woman ever. She basically acts like mom. She brings me fresh eggs every week, makes me kick ass sandwiches and makes sure that I eat my veggies. She has also offered to take us out on the sounds in her family yacht, a pretty sweet deal for three dudes that couldn't afford to get out on the sounds any other way. Jeff, the handy man, is also very cool. He never lets anything get to him, and makes work easier to deal with.

Ahh it’s been awhile! Three weekends ago we climbed Mt. Stokes, which is the highest mountain in the sounds. We didn't really know what we were getting into, but we wanted to do something wild after feeling like bums after a big night out. Well it ended up that the hike, which is only about 100k, took three hours to get to. The road was so contorted, like seriously unbelievable. We were all getting motion sick, and at most times the lane wasn't bigger than a bike lane, but we got there. It was a rough trek up, and instead of using the time tested method of cutting switch backs into the trail, there were none, we slogged straight up the mountain while going slightly insane. But the reward was great, with seriously serine views of the sound. It’s hard to imagine the labyrinth of bays and valleys that the sounds are without seeing it from an arial view.

I started surfing again last week (thanks mom!) in a magical place called Robin Hood Bay! The first day out was pretty interesting. There were spitting over head barrels just firing down the line with 30 mile an hour offshore. It was probably some of the most insane conditions I've been out in with the winds. When you were taking a wave it was like being shot in the face with a fire hose with the blow back. I have gone out a few more times since then in waist to belly high waves and totally flobbergobbined the jim john! It’s actually pretty cool. One of the bartenders at Seamus, Scotty, also surfs and he called to go with him on a session on Friday. Scotty is a seriously cool dude, he’s a professional artist, and also a well known bahrain player (Irish drum). He also was once a professional tree climber, and now teaches ceramic classes. Kinda a jack of all trades I guess, but it was really cool to be surfing with a mate again.

Last weekend I found myself in kind of a weird situation, as both jay and curt were working to get the Cafe ready to open so I had some alone time to adventure myself. I decided to go to two beaches south of Bleinham, Ward and Marfield. Ward was a geological surprise! On the beach were these big rocky bulbous mounds that happened to be petrified remains of ancient reef building sponges. It was seriously inspiring, and it reminded me that my geological journey actually began here in New Zealand. I am excited to do something with it sometime in my life...we will see when!

This weekend so far has also been quite the undertaking. With Jay working, Curt and I decided to hit the road and head to Nelson. And let me tell you what a day it was! We visited Nelson the most livable slash trendy city in New Zealand, we meandered our way up to Abel Tasman NP, stopped to take a dip, picked up hitch hikers, claimed an island, went on a hike and ate at burger king...twice!

I just sorta realized that I was blabbing a bit too much and now have a monster blog. Sorry about that. Nothing much more to add. We are looking very forward to Thanks Giving on Thursday. I made sure to get the day off and we will feast, drink and be merry...but not to hairy! Ha! We are inviting the friends we have made to come as well, so hopefully we won't be dining alone but we will have to see. It's kinda sad not being able to share this holiday with the people we love, but we are going to do our best to remember what it’s all about.

Other than that, life is slow. It’s really nice living in a town with a population of 1000. People know us around town as the American boys, everybody says hello to us when we enter bars, it’s just an overall just a very refreshing change of pace. Jay and I have played a few open mic nights around town, although I have to say Jay steals the show I just do the best I can to compliment him on the ole mandolin.

Alright, thats enough. Much love everybody.

Haha so I since I didn’t get to post this a week ago, when I wrote it I’ll add a little update. I got to go out on the sounds with Arron my boss on Wednesday. It was so sweet, the water was glass for most of the morning. It is a very different perspective being on the water. Oh yeah, and since Arron wasn’t paying us for it, we didn’t help him do any work! It was a treat to watch him scrape algae and mussels.

Thanks giving came and gone, and I’m not gonna lie, we kick ass at thanksgiving. We did our best and prepared great food, while dressed in drag. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

A glorious set of petrified sponges

A lonesome stroll on ward beach

T-day with the fam

Nothing too exciting, just a normal thanks giving

Before the madness

The best car ever

We just started to realize some of our habits may be out of control. But we have learned valuable engineering skills from it!

Sunset from our backyard


Dominating the summit of Mt. Stokes


Erotic Hippie Sculpture Fest

Abel Tasmen

Walking back from our island

Teeny Wave

Claiming island for america

The two most akward french people that we just happened to pick up

Friday, November 13, 2009

Buzz Aldrin Hates the Moon

Had some time here a just a few for the road off my camera. Real post WITH pictures coming soon!

Small sheep got stuck outside the fence, we failed to shepard it back in.

Jay and curtiepie looking epic atop Mt. Stokes

Mt. Stokes the highest mountain in the sounds


The snout

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

We are not chefs, just boys

Well I can't really believe its November, it came so much sooner than we thought. Its slightly weird that a month filled with cold, falling leaves (have they fallen) and thanksgiving is a sunny paradise here. I'm not really sure where we left off on the blog, so we'll start from last weekend. Curt is here and is fitting into the Picton lifestyle marvelously. Jay was working last weekend so I showed him the sites around the area. We had a delightful time together that included the discovery of Monkey Bay, which is a little wave cut bay that is a climbers playground. Seriously it has everything, caves, overhang and slab with no need for a crash pad because of the sand below. Pretty sweet.

Oh yeah very important! There are waves in Robin Hood Bay! This is one of two surf spots that we can get to without driving over an hour south, needless to say were pretty pumped to see some waist high splooger bombs. Although it is close, it is not easy to get to. You have to drive 10k on mountainous gravel road that pushes the chitlin to the max. For real, if you don't drive maniacally fast to get some air into the engine, the car over heats, and the 20k ride ends up taking you two hours. But that said, it keeps the bay very desolate, which is already is picturesque as is, with turquoise water wrapped in lush hills. Hopefully we will get a chance to surf it this week. I picked up a board in Kaikora on Sunday, and although its hard to justify spending a large portion of my net wealth on something that really has no practical application, nothing makes me physically happier than surfing. The board is also very me, it is a 6' 0" twinner retrofish, with a slightly ridiculous paint job. Can't wait to shed the gnar!

Actually, on the way back from Kaikora, two pretty incredible things happened. The first being witness to one of natures most bazaar events(well, we think its bazaar). We stopped off on the 1 to do a little hike to a waterfall, probably about a half mile in through the woods. We got there, the waterfall was spectacular, but we were more surprised by the presence of seals. In the middle of the rocky woods, a half mile from shore, the not so graceful seal had made the trek to play in the waterfall. There were actually more seals here in the woods, than at the seal colony we visited a few hours prior It was very fitting seeing that Jay was joking about mountain seals all day, but it was seriously an amazing event. Planet Earth would totally do a special on it.
Also on the way home, but not as spectacular, we visited one of our future surf spots. It’s a 500m point break, that is back dropped by snowcapped mountains. I really can’t imagine the mountains being any closer, it’s a unique place.

At home we are planting a garden, spearheaded by Mr. Romanchucks weeding. We are gonna try to grow the basics, beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers and basil. We already have some basil growing, so hopefully the others will come along nicely as well. We are also looking into getting some chickens, as they make delightful household pets! But really, we found a coup in the backyard and with a little work we could have a miniature farm in our backyard, very organic.
So the Chitlin unfortunately hasn't been fairing to well. It sounds like shes about to take a mechanical dump, kinda like Sean's Astro van before it died. But being the keen mechanics we are, we decided to get the oil changed...try to do it ourselves. Things got off to a quick start. It took more than 20 minutes for three of us to find the fucking dipstick. But once located, we found that the car was critically low on oil. And although we never technically changed the oil, because we couldn't get the damn oil plug out, we did add oil, and now she runs and sounds 10 times better. Raging success!

So yeah, I guess it seems we are really settling in here. At night we usually have some NZ brew and play music, and we work during the day. I hate my boss, hes a dick but thats ok. It’s starting to get really nice out, which I hear is the opposite of what is happening at home. I can't really think of anything else to write right now, but its probably a bit long as it is.

I miss all of you alot. Keep in touch amigos! I'll throw on the pictures tomorrow the library is closing.