adversity Aviation Cook Strait Maritime Omaka

April 20, 2013 … powerless in the South Island

As I said earlier in the year, we had such an astounding summer that when the rain did finally come, it would be churlish to complain.

So of course I won’t complain about the fact that of all the days for it to finally arrive, it had to be the day on which we crossed the strait on the good ship Kaitaki. The crossing was smooth and uneventful, as was our drive from Picton to the Aviation Heritage Museum at Omaka.

Down Tory channel and into the rain
Our South Island trip has been fairly damp so far

On their brochure, the museum gleefully cites a Sidney newspaper critic’s evaluation of Omaka as “the best museum in the world”. Of course it is hyperbole, but on the other hand I believe that some of the dioramas in which the beautifully restored or recreated aircraft of WWI are displayed could not be done better. They are truly magnificent.

Pilot extricated from a Morane Saulnier BB as the ambulance races up
The attention to detail is such that the mud appears truly glutinous.

If I had a criticism, it would be that the selection of aircraft on display omit many of my personal favourites, and include some rather bland types.

Diorama depicting the stripping of the Red Baron's crashed aircraft by maurauding Australians
Again there is astonishing detail with various bits of the downed triplane strewn about the site.

Taking pictures in these pseudo-night settings is problematic because it is hard to avoid looking straight into the barrel of one of the many spotlights.

Germans guard a Nieuport 27 crashed in a tree while a Siemens Schukert sits in the snow.
It was hard not to feel the cold in this scene.

Because I stupidly left the power supply for my Macbook at home, and will not catch up with it until later in the week, I have to keep this issue short. I may also be unable to post for a few days, but even if they are late, there will be a post for each day of the tour.

See you tomorrow.