Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Another Local Circumnavigation

Today I did what's becoming an old favourite; a circumnavigation of Limestone Island. It was dead low tide which meant I could see just how much water there was in the south western channel between the island and the mainland. I found there was plenty of water which is good news for future circumnavigations of the island in my variety of small boats. I think there is actually enough water in the channel for the good ship Mariner but I don't think I would risk it - well not when I am sober.
As I rounded the south eastern end of Limestone Island I spied this big black ketch. I knew instantly that it was a pirate ship. As I paddled past I called out to the young skipper and his two young children, "Are you pirates?" They laughed and instantly replied "Yes!" They made me smile, it's good to talk to people who know exactly who they are. Anyone who can't instantly recognise their inner pirate is bound to be someone whose entire bookcase is filled with books about Grain Silos and who has never, ever slept with a pom pom hat on their head.
Further on I spied something that must be new on the island - Two large 'Pou' - large, free standing Maori carvings not unlike North American Totem poles - but perhaps more related to the 'Moai' on Easter Island.
Further on around the island I spied this spoon billed wading bird looking and walking regally along. I instantly named him Oscar and thought of that quote of his, "The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."Oscar Wilde - Which is very much to the point when you see dudes like Oscar strutting his stuff, and begs the question - Why is there something, rather than nothing? I don't know the answer to that question but I give thanks for all that I see because the visible wonder of the world is, well, wonderful..... and a mystery.
The markings on this channel marker are telling vessels to pass the marker to the West. The reason is very apparent at low tide with the reef to starboard (right) of the marker extending all the way to Limestone Island. This reef is covered by approximately a meter of water at high tide.
This bird which I think is a Gannet gave me a fright by diving from a great height and barreling into the sea a couple of meters in front of my kayak. He then popped up and investigated me thoroughly. I thought (As you do) that this bird might well be the reincarnation of the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer was a German philosopher best known for his book, 'The World as Will and Representation', in which he claimed that our world is driven by a continually dissatisfied will, continually seeking satisfaction. Considering the fact that Arthur didn't come up from his deep dive with a fish in his mouth I decided he must indeed be a dissatisfied Gannet, but it is a moot point (and indeed a huge leap of distorted logic) as to whether this means he was indeed Arthur Schopenhauer. Just at the point when I was about to politely ask him if his name was Arthur he flapped his big wings and buggered off.
This small fishing boat named "Tin Foil" motored past me - he didn't return my wave - proving that fishing, whether by Gannets or Humans is a very serious business and that there is no time for dilly dallying - or perhaps he is just a moody, bad tempered, unfriendly bastard, not my sort of pirate.
In the foreground of this photo of the north facing side of the island is regenerating bush that with other volunteers I helped plant many years ago. Between the green bands (access tracks) are ancient Maori gardens. Because of the historical significance of these gardens planting cannot take place in this area of the island - but interestingly some regeneration of native bush has already taken place in the garden area. I showed this photograph to my alter ego  and said that someone with an active imagination may very well mistake the lines on the hillside for symbols created by beings from a UFO - My alter ego replied that I was doing well up to the point of Arthur Schopenhauer, but not to push my luck.
Now, the bird in this photo (A Pied Shag) was too far away for me to ask its name which will be a blessed relief for the reader.
I have no idea what this old structure was used for but I do have a theory - But I will spare the reader the details (for the time being). BUT - I have to say that I wish that I could own it, because by the time I had paddled past I had designed a commodious four level holiday home with davits on all sides for various small boats, which could be easily built after I have won the national lottery.
I don't dispute that the house and two black tanks in this photo is used by the Limestone Island conservation caretaker, but what I do dispute is that the tanks are water tanks. If they were water tanks they would be higher than the house so that the water could gravity feed to the house when a tap is turned on. So if you are as perceptive as me you will know that there is an illegal whiskey and rum making Still on the island. I can see that I will have to make many clandestine night raids to the island to confirm my suspicions. But I am not averse to a bit of off the grid individual enterprise and Garry Grass is not my name -  So I envision myself inserting small taps into the sides of these tanks to prove my theory - so call me old fashioned, but leaving the taps there is vital so that I can revisit my theory over time for evidential top ups. Of course this sort of malarkey is strictly for someone who is a pirate. It will be fun, and fun is good. --- and it is there that I rest my case.


Ben said...

You are getting in shape again in many aspects.

Alden Smith said...

Well Ben, I hope that I am reclaiming my sense of humour (Whether or not anyone else sees anything funny in what I write of course is a completely different matter LOL LOL !!!) - but whatever is happening "in many aspects" I wake up every day and I am glad to be alive and to have the energy to get out there and engage with life in a positive and creative way.