Gita - The Marauding Beast
Gita – The Marauding Beast
We have watched the progress of the second NZ bound cyclone this year for nearly two long weeks. She has devastated Samoa and side-swiped little round Niue recurved more than once like an out of control Catherine wheel. Moving forward at a modest 13 knots, until she turns that is, her spinning speeds have broken records, over 270 kmph at her worst around a central barometric pressure of 930mbs.
She is certainly a big one looking at the records and our Metvuw.com source predicted her hitting the south of the North Island and all around the north and north-west coast of the South Island and ploughing through the Cook Strait ten days before she did exactly that, last night. Golden Bay, on that north coast, near the Abel Tasman Park where we camped a year ago, is cut off, with roads destroyed and 500 tourists trapped. Numerous honey-mooning couples don’t really mind!
We have not wasted any time waiting for her though.
Workwise Rob has sanded and varnished the companionway steps and floor boards beneath and they look better than new. I have been busy editing our blogs and sorting photographs from the start of our trip back in June 2015 and spending long periods in the nearby Internet Café, loading them onto my new Wordpress website. The process would quickly use up our onboard Wi-Fi and at £1.50 per hour the fast internet in the café is well worth the money.
That of course is the limit though. With your blog I can load the text and photos offline and just ping off the complete blog in a second, but with Wordpress all the inserting of the photos into the text has to be done online and it takes me 40 minutes or so to do each blog. I will only be able to load blogs when there is access to good internet for longish periods so not when we are at sea. (Just in case you’d like a peak its skipperbarbwhite.com).
My aim in this is for a broad readership to build up a following with the hope that I might be able to one day publish something for a primed audience, or whatever other opportunities it might bring along. So far 430 folk have visited the site 1120 times and they now have 28 blogs to read.
Healthwise we have kept up the walking. Recently we found a different walk steeply up a bush track and along the ridge parallel to the river and off the familiar Ross track up to Parihaka that I have mentioned before. It was very pretty with fine views over the river.
After cyclone Fehi dumped its load of rain on us our usual path down from Parihaka Lookout, the Drummond Track was closed due to damage so we explored the alternative route, Dobbie track along through the old Maori Pa site past terraces, storage pits and narrow tracks worn by past bare feet almost hidden under new growth. An amazing twisted Kaori tree must have grown up in the prevailing winds to give it its unique bark. When you go a little higher the flora changes to Manuka and soft grey/green ferns. Pale lichen fronds hang over branches and blow in the gentle wind.
Last Sunday Jeannie and Merv took us off to Breams Bay Beach for a cooling swim. (The thermometer was recording 30’ with 74% humidity in Zoonie’s saloon at the time). I was wearing my bikini and the powerful rollers determined to strip the bottoms off me!! So most of my time was spent clinging onto them. But the water was refreshing even though it was warm and it was wonderful to spend a little time away from Whangarei, much though we love the place.
Socially we have visited J & M in their renovation project home and Gail and Tony, our G & T friends, in their re-decorated two bedroom unit. Their yacht, Cetacea, is undergoing an extensive refit under cover at a boat yard down river, the first major refit she has had in their 18 year ownership. By comparison that means Zoonie has had more than her fair share in the past six years of our ownership!
Having decided to give the passage around the south of Australia a go we have been doing a little research and bought Merv’s fisherman’s anchor, I mentioned in the last blog. It’s a big heavy anchor and will give us a feeling of security when we anchor over rock and weed. We have named it Merv. It cost us $400 which we should be able to recoup again when we sell it at some later date.
Merv had this cash, plus $150 more from selling a compressor, in his wallet when he accidentally left it on the driver’s seat of his vehicle and popped into Mitre 10, the equivalent of B & Q. Of course it wasn’t there when he came out. We really felt for him.
Culturally we have twice gone to a singing group on a Monday night with J & M and apparently all 40 of us have the voices of angels. We sing chants, rounds and simple songs unaccompanied and with mixed but enjoyable results.
This Monday a chap came along with a few other newcomers. I mention this because he was waiting outside the Internet Café yesterday when I turned up just before it opened.
George (real name Primo) is originally from Samoa and moved to Whangarei from south Auckland two weeks ago. He left his law studies there for some reason and arrived here without a job. We chatted, he complimented the Fords of Oakham website then he said, “Barbara have you got any change? I need to go and buy some lunch.” I rummaged and came up with $10 thinking he would give me a note in return, since he used the word ‘change’.
Silly me. So he packed up his bag and as a parting shot said “Thanks Barbara, if you’re in on Thursday I’ll pay you back.” Benefit day I guess.
So a couple of loaded blogs and about an hour later he returns to tell me he’d bought a nice subway snack and a big bottle (lurid) red squash. Plus he had popped over to the Design College opposite and come away with photocopy enrolment forms. “Barbara I’m going to enrol for a course in fashion design!”
“Well good for you George, and I hope it works out for you.” I said as he swept out of the door, full with joie de vivre.
My contribution to the future New Zealand fashion industry is assured.