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Happy New Year to you all - I hope that this year brings with it good fortune for you all!  Due to a family crisis right on Christmas, we were unable to head off into the back country quite as soon as we had planned.  The weather by this time was more to our liking and so we packed our truck up and headed north-west to Karamea.  Accommodation once we got there, turned out to be our sticking point and as such our time in this area was cut short.  Before having to return home we did manage to explore, and photograph, some of the natural features of the region.
The image to the left here is one of the Moira Arch.  To get to see this geological feature, created by limestone and it's erosion, you must clamber down a steep rocky pile.  I was leading the way, but all of a sudden I heard my tripod (being carried by Phill) take a tumble down these rocks!  Poor Phill had taken a dive!  He was lucky to only escape with a few grazes and bruising.  (The tripod was fine!)

Our visit also coincided with a huge swell out at sea so any surfing wasn't possible.  We did, however, photograph the result of this swell, combined with high tide, mixing with a rock face. 
The shear scale of all of these elements was very hard to capture - very nearly lost my camera and tripod to a rogue wave!

After staying for as long as possible at Karamea we were forced to move and so we headed to the Catlins.  We hadn't visited here for a very long time and were very excited at the prospect!  We stayed in one of our favourite bays, Surat Bay, where it is a short walk to the beach and to see the NZ Sealion.

The image to the right, Ghost Ship, was taken in the estuary of this bay - we hadn't remembered noticing it in previous visits as I would have photographed it.  Phill and I spent quite a while exploring in and around this vessel.

I had a wonderful time photographing the sealions in the area - most proving to be quite photogenic, although this took some patience on occasion!

The dude sitting here looking quite indignant was a huge male - I wasn't able to include in the photograph anything that would help with scale, but he was enormous!

Well that's about it for now...as promised I will be trying to write this blog on a more regular basis, specifically about my study and any photographic trips that result.

Keep smiling and take care out there!