The day was bleak and rain was promised around lunchtime; 25 of us including members from the Motueka and Nelson Clubs, joined the E-Ko crew which included Tania the guide, Rob Pine the photographer and Paul the skipper. At least we didn’t have to compete with sunlight for over blown images. First up were a pair of king shags which are rare and they posed beautifully for the photographers to all get a chance for a photograph. We were then joined by a pod of dolphins which gambolled around the boat, looking up at us and giving us a nice show. As we made our way towards Motuara Island we came across some handsome seals also posing on rocks, spotted shags and the odd seabird flying overhead.
Motuara Island this day was fairly devoid of subjects sadly, conditions were just not right, windy, cold and spitting rain. Some of the tour members stayed around the waterbath and were rewarded with a robin, also a saddleback was seen by a few. Others took the track to the top of the island and were rewarded with great views.
There was a bit of activity on the Sounds, a ferry on its way into the harbour, the replica of Captain Cooks cutters from 1770, one of three owned by Outward Bound, sailing around the Sounds with about 10 on board. Some fishing on the shoreline and the odd pleasure boat out and about from time to time.
The tour company was very impressive, with great commentaries from Tania on the history of the Sounds and the wildlife, Paul manoeuvred the boat for the photographers and had his binoculars up to his eyes a lot of the journey looking for subjects for us. Rob Pine, the photographer with the company was a bundle of fun, eccentric and knowledgeable as well as most helpful to the group who needed some assistance with their gear. He is a treasure and makes great coffee too. All and all considered, I think we all enjoyed the morning out and appreciated the fact that the weather wasn’t really in our favour but I’m sure everyone got a shot or two they were proud of.
Eunice Belk (organiser)