May 26, 2015 … a chilly start to a bright cold day

The forecast from the previous day had predicted snow in the morning.


An unusual coat of snow on the hills behind Wainuiomata, as seen from my bedroom window. The lights on the hill are on the Wainuiomata road.

We looked out at the clear starry sky and thought they had it wrong. Next morning, I looked out of my window and saw the hills behind Wainuiomata.


The unmistakable “wop wop wop” sound of the three Iroquois approaching cut across all other airport sounds

Despite the heavy clouds to begin with, the day cleared rapidly, and blue skies saw the light dusting of snow disappear quite early. The thermometer didn’t rise much though.  I went out to Lyall Bay where the RNZAF were conducting a farewell tour for their venerable fleet of Iroquois helicopters. Three of them were at the airport giving short flights to carefully selected people with air force connections. The problem with airports these days is the wretched wire fences that block the view. I don’t know if the C130 was part of the farewell tour or just there as part of the regular shuttle service between defense bases up and down the country, but two of the three helicopters are coming in over its wings.


It was bitterly cold standing with my camera lined up on the holes on the airport fence. I bet it was even colder in the cabin of the helicopter with its doors wide open.

As a design, the Iroquois has stood the test of time. They first flew in 1956, and the RNZAF acquired the first five of its fleet in 1966. The 13 remaining will be sold by tender to eager commercial users and that is a testament to ts durability. The distinctive sound of the Iroquois has signalled both danger to those facing the gunship models, and rescue to the many thousands airlifted to safety in its rescue mode.


Across the Strait to the South Island

From there I went to Whitireia Park near Porirua where the low temperatures persisted in a stiff Southerly wind, despite the bright clear conditions. It was a brittle cold and I had to hold my camera firmly against the concrete survey point on top of Whitireia to maintain stillness. It was a very clear view across Mana Island to Arapawa Island 40 km away at the North Eastern edge of the South Island.

That will suffice for today.



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 Airport, Aviation, Cook Strait, Landscapes, Weather, Wellington, Whitireia Park. Bookmark the permalink.

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