Saturday, April 25, 2020

____________________________ METAPHOR ____________________________

Photograph taken by our son on the streets of Ponsonby yesterday.

Up Covid creek without a paddle, or water, or in fact a creek.
Let's make Solidarity as a community our canoe,
 Common sense our creek,
Self distancing our water,
and our brains as our paddles,
Let's all pray for the nurses, doctors, care givers and all others who are working in the eye of this storm.

Friday, April 24, 2020

_________________ A POHUTAKAWA TREE AT ALGIES BAY _______________

Algies Bay is a place of good memories.

 The Pohutakawa trees that line the shore are big, old and beautiful. If they could talk, what stories they would tell.

This old one is called Mr Very Big Tree which I thought was an original name.

I asked Mr Very Big Tree politely and he let me have a whooping, swooping good swing.

Monday, April 20, 2020

__________________ TWO INTERESTING VISITORS ______________________

Onerahi Airport is 7.8km from where we live and 11 minutes away by car (Thank you Mr and Mrs Google for that precise information). As you can see it is only a small provincial airport. The runway is too short for the bigger provincial carriers such as the Boeing 737's which fly between the big main centres. So I was surprised when out and about one day in January of last year I saw a C130 Hercules heading for the airport. Then I remembered that one of the attributes of the C130 Hercules is its ability to make short take offs and landings.

I am usually neither a train nor plane spotter, but at the time of the Hercules sighting we were leaving a friends house who lives down harbour on a hill at a very high elevation. The Hercules thundered past at a height that was level with us and in a direction that indicated that it was in full landing approach mode. We got to the airport too late to see it land but stayed long enough (along with all the other local rubber neckers) to watch the impressive short runway takeoff of this large aeroplane. And impressive it was, as it headed directly back to Australia.

C130 Hercules of the Royal Australian Airforce landing at Onerahi Airport.
The story behind the landing was that the Hercules had flown direct from Australia to 'Medivac' out an Australian tourist who had fallen ill and was being treated at the local Whangarei base hospital. The general consensus at the airport among the assembled rubber neckers was that it must be an Australian politician for all this trouble to be taken. A later press report confirmed this speculation.

About one month later when outside at home I heard and saw an interesting sight in the sky. It was the unmistakable shape of a Catalina flying boat. I was pretty sure where it was headed, so I jumped into the car and took 11 minutes to drive the 7.8 km to Onerahi airport. Unfortunately I was too late to watch it land and as I had other things I needed to do I didn't wait for it to take off again. I was satisfied with just taking a few photos while wistfully thinking that Yes! I should have purchased that new camera with its razor sharp mega zoom lens. Again there were a number of people from the local area all gathered to take a look at this unusual visitor to the airport.

In many ways a Catalina flying boat is somewhat like a Mallard duck, it can walk on the land, swim in the water and fly in the air. I am not a great fan of flying but I am convinced that if I was to purchase an aeroplane it would be something like this with its Mallard duck like qualities. It's a yachtees aeroplane having the ability to land on the water inextricably interwoven into its structure, something that is an extremely sane and sensible capability. Any pilot come sailor worth his wings would want to land on the water from time to time to kick back, open the thermos for a cup of tea, eat a few pre packed sandwiches and put his or her feet up to have a bit of snooze before flying onward.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

_________________ NOT QUITE SURE WHAT'S GOING ON _________________

I am having problems with my Blog. Photographs seem to disappear on various postings. I have removed the second to last posting because of this. Brief online Googling points towards possible interference from a malfunction in my Avast antivirus or I have a serious computer virus problem. I have already repaired about 4 different postings by re-posting photographs that have disappeared which is a pretty tedious process. If this continues I may close down the Blog. If anyone has any advice regarding this please let me know by posting a comment.

19/4 - I have uploaded and reinstated photographs on the River Crouch post and also completed some computer tweaking which I think may have been giving me problems with Blogger - time will see if I have been successful.

I would appreciate it if anyone who sees anything unusual when viewing this Blog and/or has photographs blocked from view to post a comment on this post.

Friday, April 17, 2020

___________ CAPTAIN COOKS ENDEAVOUR - A PHOTO ESSAY ____________

On the 3rd of November last year a replica of Captain James Cooks Endeavour visited Whangarei. The boat was open to the public so I took a ramble on board and took some photographs. As the old saying goes "A picture is worth a thousand words" I offer this as a photo essay.