To Portobello

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Tue 29 Jul 2014 22:17
To Portobello
We set off this morning saying ‘farewell’ to the train station and the city of Dunedin, soon Mable was by the waters edge, the shallows of the harbour. We saw these odd structures in a line.
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I think they look like teeth....... Mmmm. The Scenic Route then followed the coast.
The road rose steeply to give us wonderful views over the sheltered, marked entrance to the city.
The road carried us past the Soldier, high on the hill, it is a memorial to the local lads who fell in the wars.
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On our right we passed the Penzance Kennels and Cattery, we always have reminders of home on a daily basis. We just loved their happy post box. This is also the start of a well marked ‘tramping’ track, that crosses a farmers land. To tramp in New Zealand is to hike anywhere else.
From the top the views were of a rolling countryside down to the sea.
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After our very enjoyable visit to Larnach Castle we followed the road back to sea level. The road wiggled by Company Bay, where a local artist was painted on the bus shelter – we do like all the little artistic bits we pass, penguins, albatross and points of local interest. Next was Seaton Bay.
Little local yachts in Broad bay.
We pulled off the main road, signposted to the tiny village of Portobello to test out our overnight spot in the car park. Another free DOC – Department of Conservation official sites. Mable looked fine in her place near the men’s toilet. I had a pretty flowering tree to my left and the ladies block had a nice mural. We headed out to reccy Taiaroa Head, a few miles further down the road. To see the Disappearing Gun is first on tomorrows activities.
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On we went, in the shallows of the next bay we saw our first black swans, visiting from Australia.
Randomly, on the right in a field were these two beauties.
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Straight into this years final of the ‘One Careful Owner’ methinks. If you say so skipper.
In the next bay was quite a find. These generally home build catamarans are called Wharrams. Based on a Polynesian design by James Wharram. The two hulls and the deck section are built separately of wood, they are then tied together with rope allowing flexibility in heavy seas. Perhaps Pete Goss could have used this principal a little more. When I was a student I actually had the plans to build one, bought from the man himself who was at the time living in South Wales. Was that when Marie Curie still had fingers. Hah, Hah, Bl - - dy Hah.

James Wharram: In 1953, after long studies into the records of boats of the Pacific in the libraries and museums of Britain, he designed and built the first British ocean-going double-canoe/catamaran, the Tangaroa, length 23'6", which meant the beginning of cruising and transatlantic crossing with a catamaran.

No scholars in the Western world at this time believed that the Polynesians had boats capable of directed ocean voyages. James believed otherwise and set out to prove it by doing it himself. He followed this first Atlantic crossing by building a 40’, V-eed hull double canoe, Rongo, in Trinidad in 1957/8, with Bernard Moitessier's help and sailing her across the North Atlantic in 1959 from New York to Ireland. This was the first West-to-East crossing of the Atlantic by catamaran/multihull.

James and Hanneke Boon are at present involved with designing sailing double canoes for use in remote Pacific islands to help with the increasing transport problems.

James Wharram is considered the ‘father’ of multihulls in many countries, and has been referred to as a ‘Living legend’.

The long breakwater with Taiaroa Head on the right.
Taiaroa Head.
At the Royal Albatross Centre, Bear went to enquire about see the gun.
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We parked Mable and walked to the far observation platform, overlooking the cliffs opposite. Nesting spotted shags. We didn’t have to wait long to see northern royal albatross gliding overhead.
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We watched one young lady make a daring cliff front landing, scramble up to a grassy bit. There she mowed at the grass and then flew off with a beak-full of nesting material.
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 She headed toward the lighthouse on the cliff opposite. Royals gliding in.
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Red-bill and black-backed gulls coming home.
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Under construction. A lady asking for construction advice of a particularly neat nest owner.
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Bull kelp swirling in the water below.
One happy tourist.
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A joy to watch.
We left this rugged coast watching a couple of albatross soaring above the lighthouse.
As we passed the breakwater going the other way, we could see a house in the middle - on the bit nearest land, on the other side.  Bet it’s cold down there in a storm, not for me.
Haze falling with dusk.
A single paraglider as we neared Portobello.
When we returned to our car park later, there was a children's football game just finishing. Bear went to test drive the facilities finding the showers locked at this time of year but we are quite happy to use Mable’s facilities, as it is so nippy out. A few games sitting perched at the front, our camping table across the two seats, armrests acting as table legs. An episode of Sherlock over baked potato – pre microwaved at our Dunedin site, prawn salad on the side. Marvellous. Must close this blog with a chap........To see a Royal in flight and so close was the icing on a brilliant day