The day after the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony in Nelson, I went out fishing with the “Serious Fishing Club”. It was a day trip with Seabird Charters, with hosts Barry and Lyn. An excellent day, starting off a bit lumpy and grey then clearing up to give flat seas. We even managed to get up to fish off Stephens Island, which doesn’t always happen. You can see by that Google Maps link that we were right out in the middle of nowhere, far enough out to be quite different from the inshore environment. We saw dolphins, seals, albatross and some very nice fish.
For example, these were about to be put on ice:
Last weekend we had an unusual event here in Nelson: the annual “Blessing of the Fleet”. Nelson is still an important focus for New Zealand’s seafood industry and locals understand its importance. This ceremony, which has been going for 10 years now, remembers those lost at sea and offers prayers for the safety of the fleet. On an unusual grey day, more than 3000 people turned out.
You can read about the official stuff here. These images are attempt to give you a feel for the day and what it means for Nelson.
I had another trip to Greymouth last week, accompanying my wife. The weather was fantastic, two more of a succession of ten or so clear days. By West Coast standards we were almost experiencing a drought. I got up well before dawn to do some exploring, around Lake Brunner and the little village of Moana. I got some great shots, but I want to concentrate in this post on a scene that I came upon after I had packed up. I was driving down a hill with a valley in the distance, driving directly into the sun at a place called Te Kinga. Then I saw them: a stand of kahikatea (white pine) trees which the sun had just reached, thick with frost.
Monday was a glorious day, blue skies and no wind. I decided to have my daily exercise down at the estuary at Monaco, just south of Nelson airport. Luckily I took my camera.
While in Wanaka, my son took us up to another of his work areas: the Mt Aspiring National Park. He knows the area well, in the summer he guides clients up to Mt Aspiring. The public road goes up the Matukituki Valley as far as a car park, but a small payment to the landowners allowed us to use the private road, all the way up to the hut. If I was younger it would have been a good walk in, perhaps 3 hours, but as it was it took about one and a half hours in his 4WD.
Near the car park, a track dives off to the north over a swing bridge and up a rather icy track to the Rob Roy glacier.
Wanaka is a spectacular place: big mountains, lots of water, and a variety of scenic views. We spent a few days there a couple of weeks ago, visiting my son. The highlight was a trip up to Mount Aspiring Hut, but that deserves a post of its own. For now, I’ll stick to a few images taken around sunrise. This one, for example: