January19, 2014 … seeking shelter

According to at least one guide-book, Makara is the place for Wellingtonians to go for shelter in a Southerly.

Mary, Maggie and Cooper set out in search of rock pools

Grandad is left at the beach, free to try his hand at long exposure wave photographs

Yesterday was blessed with a South Westerly wind, so we put it to the test. It was partially true, that much of Makara is sheltered from a Southerly by the steep hills on the South. With grandchildren Maggie and Cooper, Mary and I arrived at Makara Beach, intending to have a picnic with their parents, Anthony and Sarah, and middle son, Andrew who had made a surprise visit to Wellington for younger daughter Helen’s 30th birthday. We arrived early, and knowing that I would want to take pictures, Mary took the children off to explore the rock pools at the end of the first bay.

Wave action

Crash, suck, rattle! If you expand and look closely you will see Mary’s red jacket at the end of the first bay.

The slow exposure is still a bit of a lure for me, and the steady arrival of solid well-formed waves was just irresistible. I wish I had a sound track to go with this shot, because if there were a characteristic sound from Makara, it would be the fierce growl of the pebbles rolling under the impact and backwash from each wave.

Looking North toward the river mouth

The big brown piles are mostly seaweed

In obedience to the rule about looking behind you, I caught the waves sucking back from the shelf in the other direction.

Juvenile pied shags

No reason to leave home if the parents keep feeding you

By now the others had arrived so we chose a reasonably sheltered spot in the sun beside the river a little back from the beach. As we were enjoying our egg-and-bacon pie and other goodies we were aware of some unusual bird noises across the water. It took a while to locate the source of the screeching, but Andrew eventually spotted the culprits in some nests in a gnarly macrocarpa tree. Fledgling pied shags were squawking to be fed, though they looked to be capable of finding their own food.

Wind turbine

There’s a stiff Sou’Wester blowing

After  a pleasant lunch the young adults went off, and we took Maggie and Cooper up to the West Wind recreation area to come close to the wind turbines up there. From the car park, turbine B2 is immediately visible. This is the only one to which the public are allowed to come to the foot of. Even from a considerable distance they are imposing machines. A Boeing 747-400 has a wingspan of 64 metres. These turbines have a span (diameter) of 82 metres and spin at up to 18 rpm. At top speed, a blade passes overhead almost once a second and at that diameter. The three blades weigh ten tonnes each, so it’s quite a flywheel effect.

West Wind wind farm

Ten of the sixty-two turbines in this location

Looking back, I caught a view of a larger group of turbines and I am always impressed by them.

And that was the photographic day.



About wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures. This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.
This entry was posted in adversity, Architecture, Landscapes, Machinery, Makara, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to January19, 2014 … seeking shelter

  1. Adam Rosner says:

    Makara/West Wind recreation area – I love going there with cameras. I have taken many photos there and still feel I have yet to do it justice. One time recently I was there, that turbine’s rotor tips were producing contrails which I managed to catch a photograph of.

  2. Hello, I have just discovered your blog, and over the last couple of evenings, I have thoroughly enjoyed browsing your entries of the last month. Your photos are superb, and your text always interesting. I particularly like that you seem to be visiting many of the same places that my husband and I do in the course of our cycling trips around the Wellington area and beyond. I write a blog about our adventures, in which we also add our photos. I hope you might want to take a look. http://dizzysfoldingbike.blogspot.co.nz/. Kind regards, Desiree Patterson

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