|The morning began with brilliant sunshine, smooth seas and promise of a great kayak. We were talked into trying Vegimite and Marmite (NZ version of the former) on our breakfast toast. Al thought it wasn't too bad and would describe it as a salty vegetable taste with peanut butter consistency. Personally, I thought it was awful. We donned all our kayaking gear (skirt to keep the water out of the passenger compartment and life jackets) and pushed off. This time - I was steering from the rear of the kayak and Al was the "muscle" - so, for the most part - we went straight and kept up with the 25 year olds. The views of the island were stunning - with the rain forest, beaches and fresh water creeks. Since we all were doing so well, the guides took us around one of the islands where we were greeted by large, male fur seals basking on the rocks. Since they are very territorial, we even saw a few younger male seals being chased away by the dominant ones. About the time we stopped for our lunch break - winds from the southwest were coming up. They are pretty strong as well as cold as they come from the Antarctic. Our guide described our choices for the afternoon: to complete an arduous kayak against headwinds and waves or take a leisurely 5 km hike to our destination. Hmmmm... what a choice. As you guessed - the entire group voted for the later so we left the kayaks behind for the boat to retrieve and headed back into the rain forest where we were sheltered from any wind or adverse weather. We were so happy we made this choice as we watched another kayaking group paddle, paddle, paddle and hardly move. YAY. Then the bus ride back to Nelson where we picked up our rental car for our road trip over the next couple of days.