For the first official day of Winter, yesterday was very mild.
It was also the day when a new Cook Strait ferry, the Strait Feronia, was scheduled to arrive in Wellington on its delivery voyage from Sweden. Blue Bridge are running a competition for the best image of its arrival posted to their Facebook page, so I decided to try this. I went to the grotesquely misnamed Scorching Bay, and armed with a cup of coffee and a biscuit from the nearby cafe, set myself down on a picnic chair at the water’s edge to await the newcomer’s arrival.
It’s a condition of entry that the submitted image can not have been published elsewhere, so I am holding back the image I submitted, in favour of this less adventurous shot. Her looks are deceptive. She is now the longest ferry on the Strait with the greatest number of lane-metres for vehicles. Unlike the Interislander vessels, she has no rail capacity, and carries only 370 passengers. She was built in 1996 and has served in the Irish Sea and in the Mediterranean.
There are customs of the sea to be observed and CentrePort sent one of their tugs out to do the traditional water cannon welcome. Her sister ship, the Straitsman was “dressed overall” in honour of the occasion. Once that meant hanging out all the ships signal flags on the stays from the bow to foremast to mainmast to stern. Modern marine architecture doesn’t lend itself to such frivolity, so a single line of bunting from the bow to the bridge had to suffice.
In the afternoon, noting that the harbour remained beautifully calm, I went to Seaview Marina. I have done many reflection shots here before, but wanted to try something new. The Olympus has a special feature for taking landscape or still life images from a tripod. It uses the image stabilisation mechanism to move the main sensor through eight different positions, making an exposure at each. It than creates a composite image of 40 megapixels (compared with the 16 megapixels of the normal image). This was a risk given that everything has to remain absolutely still for the duration of all eight exposures. No wind, no waves, and I got away with it. Even the man in the cockpit of the boat with the green trim stood perfectly still as he tried to figure out what I was up to.
Something else tomorrow, though I have no idea what.