Well I caught a nasty case of Bronchitis but not the virus that produces coughing. No, I tortured myself and checked up on NFL scores and foresaw what was happening with Denver’s team in my absence. As I’ve mentioned, I know all of this before you guys do because I’m here, living it up large in the future, some 20 hours ahead. If you had plans to watch the Broncos play you needn’t bother. They’re going to lose. Trust me. It’s science.

Speaking of science and foretelling the future, it seems that New Zealand’s weather prognosticators are every bit as uncanny with their ability to make a hash of it as ours. We were supposed to go out on the ocean today and catch Red Snapper because we were told it was going to be sunny. It was not. It has rained on and off throughout the day. I doubt that would have bothered the fish all that much seeing that they’re already wet, but it would have bothered the humans. Even though we are in fact “water proof”, we don’t normally appreciate the free showers offered up by nature as those showers are nearly always chilly.

So, we’ve done some ambling about in the Bay of Islands region. In particular we’ve visited Kerikeri and Russell. The Bay of Islands boasts some 144  tiny protuberances of land (depending on who is counting)  in the ocean off the North Coast. Just looking out the window of our guest house I can make out  four or five.

“Keri” must have been a name worth repeating. The locals believe that the word “keri”  means swirling – which sounds of course like a warning. So, to name a thing, “Swirling, Swirling”, some thought must have gone into it. As it turns out, the original Euro settlements happened here, in Kerikeri. Over 200 years ago some curious, clever, courageous and kind missionaries arrived and met up with the indigenous folks and things went better than most of those types of first encounters.

The original mission house and trading post – both still functioning and in good repair since the early 19th century – stand next to a big 90 degree turn in the eponymously named river, Kerikeri. So, Kerikeri runs through Kerikeri – “swirl, swirl” through “swirl, swirl.”  And right at that 90 degree bend the waters swirl in a big lazy circle trying to decide whether to stay in town or to move on to visit the Peketi Forest.  It is said that the Maori warriors used to follow this circular current, paddling furiously in their wakas (canoes) and doing their war chant before charging off to rustle up a tasty neighbor for dinner.

And that reminds me…I was asked to examine the kerikeri of the toilets while here. A young lad I know was eager for knowledge of which way the keri carried.  He was told it would run counter-clockwise to our clockwise. He wished me to verify it and film the action for him. I thought that a bit odd but…okay. Thus far I’ve nothing to report. The way the toilets here are constructed – at least the ones I’ve visited – seem to be of the “down the hatch” variety. There’s no kerikeri, just a big gulp. 

More tomorrow and may your day be blessed…CJ