March 2, 2015 … marooned

Yesterday I spent the night on an island.

Arrival

Approaching the island on the Cobar Cat. There is a long trudge up to the accommodation up that trail above the wharf. We were carrying food, clothes, bedding and heaps of camera gear.

Matiu/Somes Island sits in the middle of Wellington Harbour, and was once a quarantine station. Eventually, it dawned on he scientists that the separation from the mainland was inadequate for the quarantine function, so it has subsequently become a nature reserve. Eight members of the Hutt Camera Club hired one of the cabins on the island and booked an overnight stay.

High point

Looking North up the Hutt Valley from the high point on the island. As you can see conditions are extremely dry.

There is significant wildlife on the island, most significant to which are the Tuatara. I saw several of them, but was totally inept at using my camera in the dark, and especially at finding the animal in the viewfinder and manually focusing. Next time I shall be better prepared.  This time, I compensated by some landscapes and maritime shots.   The concrete gun emplacements on the high points are remnants of WWII. I imagine that by military standards, the garrison would be regarded as an easy post in its day.

Juvenile

A juvenile black-backed gull soaring effortlessly overhead

Matiu/Somes is the major breeding colony in the region for the Black-backed gulls (Larus dominicanus). They are common throughout the Southern hemisphere, but despite their universal presence they are an elegant bird.  They like to soar in the wave lift from the wind over the island.

Voyager

Voyager of the Seas outbound en route to Sydney

As the first day drew to a close, the cruise line Voyager of the Seas departed and afforded us a different perspective that was available from the usual onshore vantage points.

Nightfall

Last light over the city as seen from the Island

We all roamed the various paths of the island in the dark, and for the reasons mentioned above, I was unsuccessful. I consoled myself with some night shots of the cit and the last light of the day.

It’s a magical place.

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About wysiwygpurple

I am a family man, a passionate amateur photographer and a retired academic . What's the purpose of this blog? Well in the first instance it provides me with a platform from which to resume writing, an activity I greatly enjoy. What will the blog be about? Anything that takes my fancy but it is likely to arise from things I see and experience, in my family, in my travels, or anything else I feel like. Each daily post will contain one or more images made the previous day. Sometimes the image will illustrate the points made in the prose, and sometimes the prose will attempt to interpret the image. What kind of images will they be? Always safe for work and family. Usually they will be representational, and sometimes they will be impressionistic or experimental.
This entry was posted in Adventure, Birds, Camera club, harbour, Landscapes, Maritime, Weather, Wellington. Bookmark the permalink.

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