Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mail-to-Blogger Post Tip Number 1

Use (hash)end at the end of the post content to keep the email auto-footer from posting.

Testing Post from Email

I've developed a backlog of little tiny posts on technical subjects that I've been intending to keep just as a "note to self". 
It should be easier just to post these as they come up via emails to blogger.  I'd forgotten that it had that feature. 

Coromandel Weekend

Another part of my birthday present from Kel was a weekend in the Coromandel!

Cathedral Cove KayakingWe started out kayaking in Hahae, off the east coast of the Coromandel peninsula.

Here's Cathedral Cove, we got lucky with the timing there, it had been closed for days earlier while there was filming going on for the next Narnia movie.

Cathedral Cove

Striped MarlinAfter the kayaking we did some driving and hiking to get to the tip of the peninsula. On our way through Whitianga we saw a boat come in with a 114kg Striped Marlin.

That evening we camped at a Dept. of Conservation (DOC) campground at Stony Bay. Check out the geotags on the Flickr photos to see the locations on a map. It was a long winding way on single lane gravel roads.

Hike from Stony Bay to Fletchers BayThe next morning we hiked across the very tip of the peninsula to Fletchers Bay. The scenery was amazing, I highly recommend that hike.

Hike to Fletchers Bay

Dscf0146On the other side, we hit a beach for a quick swim, then we did some biking along the coast.


Lastly, we stopped in Coromandel town for dinner (and happened to catch the tail end of the Black Caps beating Australia in Cricket). Fabulous weekend!

File Under: New Zealand,

My First New Zealand Earthquake

We had an earthquake last night. Actually, there were three of them, but the first one hit while we were in the car, and the second after we were asleep.

The one we felt was a 4.5 centered just up the road and off shore in Orewa. Down in Albany, it felt like sitting on a sofa in a moving truck while somebody gives it a big shove. Then there were a few rattles following that.

Here's the article from the Herald:

Earthquakes Shake Auckland Region.

File Under: New Zealand,

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Birthday Bungy Jump

This past weekend was my birthday (Jan 25th).

One of my Christmas presents from Kel this year was that we were going to be staying at the Powderhorn Chateau and hiking the Tongariro Crossing over my birthday weekend.

Taupo BungyWhen I opened my other presents on Thursday morning, one of them was a small printed voucher "good for one Birthday Surprise on the 25th".

I thought a lot about what that might be on the drive down to Taupo. I discovered shortly after Kel took over driving when we pulled into Taupo Bungy parking lot!

Taupo Bungy
They were taking a break for a bit when we pulled up, so I didn't get to see anyone else jumping straight away. Kel also recommended that I not look over the edge until after I'd signed up and weighed in, but after that I grabbed some photos from the platform.

When they started up again, I was second in line. It was nice to have one person ahead of me, so I was able to watch and knew basically what to expect. Though the scream that girl gave when she finally jumped wasn't at all what I wanted to hear at that moment. ;-).

When it was my turn they quickly strapped my lower legs into big cuffs, then attached the end of the bungy onto that harness with a big carabiner. Next they had me shuffle to the edge of the platform. That was probably the hardest part, standing on the very edge with my legs tied together, and feeling the weight of the whole bungy cord pulling on them.

View from the Taupo Bungy Platform

Looking at the drop from there, the water looked beautiful and deep. It would have been a perfect cliff jumping spot. If it were about one third the height (Which is 47 meters b.t.w.) I might have been tempted to jump without the bungy. That made it much easier to go when they counted me down.

My Jump

Taupo Bungy Jump

The drop is about what you'd expect. A rush of freefall, just like a cliff jump. Once you get going, the water comes up incredibly fast. But just before you get there, there's this springy sensation building up behind you. Then next thing you know you're flying up to the platform again. That's the second hardest part! There's a bunch more bouncing and dropping before you're done. Overall a great experience, I'm glad Kel did that for me (and even more glad it was a surprise). ;-)

My recommendation is definitely do the water touch thing, and don't bother wearing a shirt. ;-)

This one isn't me but it's a great shot Kel caught while I was walking back up the hill after my jump:

Bungy Jump

File Under: New Zealand,