Chaplog tries hard In which an ageing climber comes to terms with life closer to the ground.


Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 4:03 pm

Victory bay and Sandfly bay Otago Peninsula-3597

These spherical boulders – septarian concretions – are found on a number of beaches in New Zealand as wave action exposes them after storms. We enjoyed the short stop on our journey to Oamaru.

The photographs


Otago Peninsula

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Male Sea lion – Allan’s beach Otago Peninsula

The Otago Peninsula looked too me a little small and too close to a large town to be that interesting. I was wrong. The wildlife was amazing we walked on the beaches to see sea lions, penguins, seals and albatross on the tip of the headland.

The Photographs


Great White Sharks – Stewart Island

Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 2:44 pm

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Great White Sharks on Stewart Island

I was not sure whether to dive in a cage to see Great Whites. I knew I was not going to dive with them without a cage! Looking back a few months later I am very pleased I did do it. They are so large, powerful and graceful. I was surprised by the amount of space at the front and the sides of the cage that were not covered. I learnt that this allowed TV sized cameras to be held outside the cage. At one point a shark hit the cage and I ended up lying on my side. Very exciting and expensive!

The Photographs


Stewart Island

Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 6:02 pm

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The coast near Port William Stewart Island

We travelled to Stewart island on a fast catamaran it was quite rough but we were not sick! I packed up for the three day walk and Lynne came with me for the first section. The walk started in the drizzle but I had a fantastic time particularly at Port William hut in perfect weather. We visited Ulva island to see the birds. On getting back from the walk we went Kiwi hunting and spotted one next to the golf course.



Fiordland Underwater

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There was one other diver on board who was interested in photography we had some good dives.

The Photographs

Description of the dives


Fiordland Dusky and Doubtful Sound

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The Tutoko our boat for the week

We had wanted to visit Fiordland but were not going to do one of the long walks. Most people go to Milford Sound as there is road access and it has possibly the most dramatic scenery. We had the time and I wanted to dive so we were looking for a different experience. We were lucky to find a small boat that did a five day cruise and offered diving. We found out later it is mostly used for hunting tips. The helicopter trip in was exiting and the whole trip was a very special experience.


Jacksons Bay

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Enjoying fish and chips at the Craypot in Jacksonville

Without a tent we stayed in a lodge. We had one reserved for us in Queenstown so the stress levels had been reduced. Lynne’s tendon was now fully mended so we set out on a full day’s walk to Clearwater bay and back. We treated ourselves to fish and chips in the famous Craypot cafe.



Okarito and Hokitika South Island New Zealand

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Hokitika drift wood sculpture competition

On our way to Okarito we had lunch by a beach that had just had a driftwood sculpture competition this one did not win but it is the one we liked the best. It was very windy. The tent saga started here. When we arrived at the camp site for Franz Josef Glacier it was rainy and very windy. A short while after we had put the tent up one of the poles broke and went straight through the flysheet.

The photographs



The Inland Pack Trail

Filed under: General — Mike Chapman @ 4:56 pm

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When we visited Mick and Carol in Christchurch. Mick was extolling the virtues of this walk. The weather was perfect and I did the three day walk in two not taking a tent. I slept out under the stars. I did however miss the track at dilemma creek going too far upstream but it was blocked by fallen trees and as I was wading the river I met a large eel. I was out of the water and had taken a photograph before you could say…

A fantastic couple of days that I will always remember. It would have been easier to have done it in the other direction as I would have not missed the turn off and I could have slept in the ballroom – a massive overhand, see photograph.

The photographs

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