Day 4 - White Island
We had to depart quite early as there was a significant drive to the Whakatani port where we would catch a ride to White Island. We made it with
just a little bit of time, had a light breakfast, and boarded the hour-and-a-half boat ride. The boat was quite small, and this was to become an
issue as while the sky was clear, the wind was intense, and soon we were dealing with 6 foot swells. The barf bags came out, and although I was
fine for most of the trip, I finally became sea-sick for the first time in my life about 20 minutes before we reached the island. Once everyone
was there and somewhat recovered, they ferried us over for a foot tour of the island. It had several impressive steam vents, a large, somewhat
active caldera (Activity Level 2, recently upgraded) and a ruined factory that used to be used for sulfur refining and mining.
The tour concluded, we reboarded the ship, and were served lunch, which most people seemed to realize was inadvisable. One girl was already sick
before we had even shook anchor. She ended up seated next to me in the rear of the ship and clung to me the entire ride back. The ride back was
even worse, with the open sea white-capping, although I managed to not throw up again, most of the rest of the passengers were not so fortunate.
Jen and Nick, however, made it back unscathed, with Jen even getting a nap on the way back.
We all felt pretty terrible, but still had a long drive to our hotel, and had quite a gorge to wind our way through. Nick and Ashley fell asleep,
but I had to drive and had a pounding headache as well. Finally, once we reached Gisbourne, I had Jen take over driving, where I finally realized
quite how terrifying it was to ride shotgun with someone unaccustomed to driving on the left down hairpin turns. We arrived at the small town of Waiora,
which was particularly drowsy given that it was a New Year's Eve. We found an open gas station and a reasonable Indian restaurant that I got some
lamb vindaloo at. There, we debated the fate of our next day's activity, the shark cage, which accepted only cash.
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