For the 25th of December Real Journeys put on a Christmas party for all staff. They put on a huge feed, had a drawing for a bungy jump and other major attractions, and even did a secret Santa gift thing.
On Thursday, December 5th I rode back from camping outside of Te Anau and caught the fire station opening party. We had a great feed which just about made up for the fact that they had us standing in a swarm of sandflys for 20 minutes before.
On the 6th someone at the kayakers' found some baby ducks and decided to look after them.
From the 10th - 15th we had many gatherings: a potluck, a party for Magic Memories Bens first payday and a couple nights hanging out at Shaun's.
On the 16th Rosco's held a kayak training so that we could be signed off on and use their kayaks. We practiced falling into the water and getting back on the kayak without filling it with water and proper paddling technique with and without the rudder.
Over the next couple nights we had our second quiz night, run by Quiz Master Chris, and a dinner gathering at the boxes. On the 19th a few of us went to Bowen Falls again then to the Chasm where I had a tug-o-war with a Kea.
On Tuesday, December 3rd I joined a couple friends on the "Morning Glory" kayak trip from the Tasman Sea back into Milford. As a local company, Rosco's took us out for free - yet another perk from working in the tourism industry.
They took us out on their boat and then we began our return journey starting with a smaller waterfall then moving onto Sterling Falls.
After Sterling we made our way to Seal Rock.
Finally, after a few hours on the water, we arrived at Bowen Falls then fought the day breeze (more of a day wind storm) back into Deepwater Basin.
On Friday, November 29th I had my first Thanksgiving feed since 2011. Somehow JP managed to convince Real Journey's management to get us a couple turkeys so we could put on a proper American Thanksgiving and, at $500, these turkeys weren't cheap!
A couple days later a bunch of us went swimming under Tutoko bridge for about two seconds but later found the fire to be a little more inviting.
I also had the next day off so skipper Dave and I took the tender out fishing in the Tasman. On the way in we pulled in some crayfish and got up close and personal with the seals.