A Friendly Hello from 2006

We had the day off today and spent it at a beautiful beach in Abel Tasman National Park on the South Island. I could probably count on one hand how many people were at this beach. Absolutely beautiful! We’re on our way back to the Geology Field House at the moment and stopped in town for some resupplies. Unfortunately, I forgot my damn camera cable at the field house, so I can’t upload any pictures from today.

Things are going swell though! This really isn’t a vacation however. We have a syllabus and criteria we’re going to be graded on. And we’re constantly being inoculated with geology. On Thursday, we were in the field by 9AM, returned by about 6PM (the sun doesn’t set until almost 9PM here and it doesn’t get dark until around 10!) and then worked through dinner at the field house until well after 10pm, compiling and analyzing data we collected all day. Basically, everyday has been like that.

We went to a pub down the street last night to celebrate New Years, but it was quite crowded, so we left and came back to the field house to celebrate.

We also sat outside and watched shooting stars through the night (and got to see some neat features that we don’t get to see in the Northern Hemisphere, such as the Southern Cross and Magellanic Clouds! Also, because of our perspective, the constellation Orion appears upside down! And apparently, so does the Moon. We haven’t been able to see it yet though). It is definitely one of the most dramatic and amazing night skies that I have ever seen in my life.

Anyway, I’m definitely enjoying it here. We’ll be holed up here in Takaka / Onekaka for a few more days before we disembark for points further south.