On my way to lunch, I chose the route that gave me a view of the harbour.
Brown silt from the swollen Hutt River coloured the harbour and made Matiu/Somes and Mokopuna islands stand out. Suddenly, between them was a huge white ship. Most cruise ships arrive in port by 8am to give the passengers a full day of shopping or touring. In fact the Dawn Princess was already berthed. This was Radiance of the Seas. a 90,000 Tonne monster ready to add her 2,500 passenger to the 2,000 from the other ship. Unfortunately, early season cruise visits to Wellington can be a lottery and these guys were out of luck with cold winds and driving rain.
My friend and I enjoyed the magnificent bowls of mussels steamed in blue cheese and mustard sauce at Leuven, a Belgian Beer restaurant. After an excellent coffee, we regretfully made our way out into the cruel weather outside where there were few cruise passengers to be seen.
Because I am determined to complete my five years of photo-a day discipline, I went North and headed homewards around Grays Road along the Pauatahanui Inlet. A group of Royal Spoonbills was browsing in the ponds by the bird hide. I have seen the word “canteen” proposed as the appropriate collective noun for spoonbills, but I doubt that my source was especially authoritative.
Though I tried to remain inconspicuous (though there were few other idiots with cameras there), the birds got nervous and moved towards the water ready for flight. They are not as glamorous as the more elusive white heron, but the Royal Spoonbill is a handsome bird in its own right.
That’s all for now.