27 October 2013

As I cling to the earth with my eyebrows

Yesterday was a rare day for Wellington - normally the days with 100km/h plus wind gusts are accompanied by rotten horizontal rain and plummeting temperatures. Instead we had a bright sunny day graced with a refreshingly boisterous squall that cleared the waterfront of all but the most hardy and those with a firm sense of balance. While I felt sorry for tourists unaccustomed to the ferocity of the northerly flurry, you have to ask yourself why anyone risks visiting the capital during springtime. I mean, the airport seems to be shut half the time and the insides of the smaller planes must resemble a blender by the time they touch down in non-hurricane strength locales. I had to grab hold of my camera bag several times to prevent it flitting away whilst taking the pictures below, and when I ventured down to sea level on the harbour ferry floating platform I decided my visit would have to be as short as possible, because it was bucking around like crazy.

Included below are two familiar sights of the Wellington port. The derelict Southern Prospector fishing vessel has been laid up here for years, having been rescued from sinking in July 2010 when its engine room flooded and having been accidentally rammed by the ferry Santa Regina (the Bluebridge) as it was reversing into dock on a day with strong southerlies in April 2011. And the Sea Lion, a 100-ton launch built in Port Adelaide in 1946, which was used for squid fishing in the Bass Strait in the 1980s and sailed over from Australia in 1990 for use as a private recreational vessel. It's been berthed at the northern end of Queen's Wharf since at least 2005. Wellington seems to attract this sort of maritime detritus; perhaps because once they arrive here they deteriorate quickly in the harsh winds and swiftly become too unsafe to venture out of the harbour?

Also, the blog title comes from this lovely audio clip from a WW2 soldier, recorded by 2YA for broadcast to New Zealand forces deployed in the Pacific. Definitely worth a quick listen.

Clyde Quay Wharf development.
Kevin McCloud would have something to say about weathertightness.
Point Halswell & Point Jerningham
Southern Prospector in a wind flurry
Sea Lion
Sea Lion  & Queen's Wharf
See also:
Blog: Command an argosy to stem the waves, Petone, 14 July 2013
Blog: Repairing the Kaitaki, 23 June 2013
Blog: In fear of the Tsar's navy, 5 November 2011
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