According to at least one guide-book, Makara is the place for Wellingtonians to go for shelter in a Southerly.
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.
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.
In obedience to the rule about looking behind you, I caught the waves sucking back from the shelf in the other direction.
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.
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.
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.