Mat Jackson and myself, Ralph Backstrom, are in New Zealand where we'll be competing in the World Heli Challenge, as well as having a little adventure.  After getting our bags checked, for only a $20 tip, when we were expecting to be paying nearly $400, we thought the flights would be smooth sailing.  WRONG!!!  Our SFO to LAX flight was delayed 2 hours immediately after we arrived to the gate.  Not a problem, it just shrunk our 3 hour layover in LAX to a 1 hour layover in LAX, with 2 hours to kill in SFO.  The flight apparently boarded a bit earlier than we expected it to, and left without us (it was still connected to the gate, but they wouldn't let us on!).  So we ran to the next flight, that was already boarding, and got on, knowing that our 1 hour layover had shrunk even more.  

Luckily, between our sprint to the next gate and our landing in LAX, I lost my boarding pass for our next flight.  Instead of sprinting from the domestic terminal in LA to the international terminal and waiting in the long security line, we sprinted to the ticketing desk in the international terminal, got a new boarding pass printed, and then were escorted through security!  

Twelve to thirteen hours later we arrived in Auckland, without Mat's ski bag.  This put a big damper on our plans to hit the slopes in Temple Basin the next couple days before driving down the West Coast of the South island and surfing a bit.  Instead, we've been tethered to Christchurch, where Mat has been making more than 5 phone calls each day to hear that there is no record of his bag anywhere.  The swell has been pretty small, so we've been enjoying the scenery and trying to find waves, hoping Mat's bag shows up.  Here are a few pictures from the trip thus far.

Angry Seals

Snowy Mountains

Small Waves at Mangamanu

Ghost Town