On my way to Lyall Bay yesterday, I stopped at some traffic lights in Kilbirnie.
Sitting opposite me waiting its turn for the green, was an ex-London Transport double-decker bus. Recently, I showed a picture os some buses squashed flat at a scrap metal yard. Our buses seem to be very short-lived. London Transport, on the other hand seems to have a never-ending export market of people who, for whatever reason, seem to want the nostalgic kick of a London double-decker rumbling about their cities. I am guessing from the white ribbon draped across the windshield that this one was chartered for a wedding party.
There were no surfers at the bay, but instead a rather less common visitor, an Australasian gannet. The Australasian gannet is a superbly elegant bird ranging over some 10,000 square kilometres. Though slightly smaller than its Northern hemisphere cousin, a mature bird has a wingspan of about 1.8 metres. When diving for fish, it comes in from about 30 metres and hits the water at about 100 km/h. It was cruising for fish when I first saw it.
It made a couple of dives, both of which I missed. On the third dive, it failed to launch again, and seemed to be resting on the water. Seeing its golden head and blue eyes bobbing in the swell was distinctly comical.
As I got close to home, I spotted the sail training ship “Spirit of New Zealand” rounding the Northern side of Matiu/Somes Island and setting sail for sea. I was intrigued to see the process of setting a square sail.. If my ship knowledge is correct, the sail being set is the fore-topsail, and if you enlarge the image you can see a crew member dangling behind it, manipulating it around the inner jib. Sail safely!
That’s enough for the day.