Monday, 1 April 2013

Collecting Cockles, Waiheke Island

Easter time meant we can escape Auckland City (much easier by boat!), and venture out to the islands of the Hauraki Gulf.  After anchoring at Waiheke, we enjoyed relaxing and the ritual of harvesting shelfish from the shore.  We went ashore not actually knowing what we were going to collect, but we found lovely cockles!

The kids love helping collecting them, and even filled up their flippers!

Ashore at Waiheke, the kids had a great time making volcanoes out of the mud

 Blake found his mustache!

 Making volcanoes, puddles & finding cockles

Watching a sea slug doing a 'fast escape'... yes, it was travelling slightly faster than a snail 

After contacting DOC about this sea slug for identification, we were advised it is a "Woolly Sea Hare" or Bursatella Leachii.  It is known to emit a purple liquid when disturbed (which it did with us, strange as it was!), and is found on sheltered shores of northeastern New Zealand and the warmer waters of the Western Pacific Ocean.  It is fairly common and can grow quite large up to 120mm in length - which is quite large for a sea slug!!!

 Cockles!  Flippers are multi-use!

Finding shells, fish and flounder in Mickey & Mike's net.

Freya helping the locals release the baby flounder they had caught in their net.

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