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