Academic Children Day's Bay Evans Bay flowers Landscapes Light mountains Petone Seasons Upper Hutt Weather Wellington

August 17, 2018 … nor any drop to drink*

Though I am not an ancient mariner, I seem to find water, water everywhere*.

Hutt River
Hutt River rounds the bend

My first image this week is of the bend in the Hutt River near Totara Park, Upper Hutt. Apart from the patch of white water, the river looked clean and blue.

Children of Owhiro Bay Primary School listening to their teacher

A day or two later, I spotted what we used to refer to as “a crocodile” … a column of primary school kids walking in an orderly fashion down Happy Valley Road towards Owhiro Bay. A while after that I saw them again, all sitting on the beach listening to the senior teacher. Being nosy I asked what school they were from and what they were doing.

One eye open – NZ Fur Seal at Owhiro Bay

They were from Owhiro Bay School and were there because, while walking to work earlier, their principal had spotted a New Zealand Fur Seal  sleeping among the rocks on the shore. So I tagged along and when they had finished looking and then moved on to explore other aspects of the local environment, I got a close look. You can see that the lower eye is open, watching that I don’t get too close.

Sunset in Normandale

No water in this image, just a rather nice sunset as seen from our back door.

Magic morning at Petone

Then we had one of those days. I have mentioned them  often enough, the kind where the great expanse of the harbour is flat calm. From Petone Beach to the Miramar Peninsular just right of centre is eight kilometres, and apart from the few ripples close to the beach, there is nothing to disturb the surface.

Sailing in light airs

I drove round to the city and then to Evans Bay and looked back the other way. The solitary yacht was just ghosting along in a nearly non-existent breeze.

Red Yacht
Red yacht in Evans Bay

Further round Evans Bay at Hataitai Beach, the red yacht emphasised the utter stillness of the harbour.


Then the weather changed, so I played around again with my new light-box and a sprig of daphne provided by our kind neighbour.

Tanker in the rain

Did I mention that the weather changed? To avoid cabin fever, I went out anyway and from Lowry Bay looked back to the tanker “Ocean Mars” looming though the rain at the Seaview oil terminal.

Leaving port

My last image this week is the departure of the container ship “ANL Walwa” assisted by Centreport’s two tugs.

  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner  by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

A personal request now:

For readers not resident in New Zealand, family or friends. Though it is now six years since I retired I still like to assist students struggling to gather data for their post-graduate thesis. In this case, the student is Marlini Bakri who is exploring the influence of photographic images on friends and relatives who might decide to visit New Zealand. I provided a number of images to Marlini and said I would ask some friends and family if they would be kind enough to complete the associated survey.  I would be most grateful if you would consider participation.

The survey which can be completed on a computer or a mobile device, can  be found at

Here is her Participant Information Letter:

My name is Marlini Bakri and I am a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) candidate in Marketing at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). Your friend/relative Brian has expressed interest to participate in my study, titled “More than words: Decoding the influence of user-generated images on VFR (visiting friends & relatives) travel”. They have provided your contact as a prospective participant for my study. The study would involve you completing a simple survey. The objective of this research is to understand if photographs shared online can communicate information about a destination to overseas friends and relatives.
You can access the survey on desktop computers and mobile devices (e.g. tablets and mobile phones). The survey should not take more than 30 minutes, and can be terminated at any time. The survey platform saves your answers automatically, allowing you to return to the form, using the same device, at different times. All information you provide is completely confidential, and only the researcher and her supervisor will have access to the information. The data will be destroyed three years after the completion of the thesis (estimated June 2021).
To participate click here:

Should you require further information about the study, please contact:

Human Ethics Committee information
If you have any concerns about the ethical conduct of the research you may contact the Victoria University HEC Central Convenor: Dr Judith Loveridge. Email or telephone +64-4-463 9451.

PhD Candidate:
Marlini Bakri
PhD Candidate
School of Marketing and International Business
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600 Wellington
6140 New Zealand

Dr Jayne Krisjanous
Senior Lecturer
School of Marketing and International Business
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600 Wellington
6140 New Zealand
+64 4 4636023

Dr James E. Richard
Senior Lecturer
School of Marketing and International Business
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600 Wellington
6140 New Zealand
+64 4 463 5415


adversity Arachnids Day's Bay Day's Bay harbour Landscapes Light Lowry Bay Plant life Seasons Trees Weather

May 31, 2017 – still but chill

Winter is almost upon us. So far it has been relatively mild, but Wellington can be deceptive in that regard. Though the thermometer may register as much as six or seven degrees, winter in the area can produce a sense of wet misery that seems much colder.

Japanese Maple – last colour of the season

The last colours of autumn linger with us. A few more days or even a windy day will see the last of the colour on our Japanese maple fall to the ground.

tiny jeweller in the centre of its universe

Despite my whining, we have had a good string of still days. On such a cool damp day, the best jewellery show in town is staged by the tiniest of crafts-people. This dew-covered web is about the size of a small plate. I think the spider at the centre is a garden orbweb, but would welcome expert advice if I am wrong.


If you are an arachnophobe, look away for a moment while I get closer. This specimen is about 5mm in size.

Lowry Bay
Lowry Bay

Continuing with the theme of calmness, I have been making a lot of images at nearly water level, and you can see just how still the harbour has been. This one is on the beach at Lowry Bay.

Day's Bay
Day’s Bay wharf

A few kilometres further South, the Days Bay wharf caught my eye as the sun headed inexorably towards night.

Loma brings her catch home

On my way home from there I paused at Pt Howard as the fishing vessel Loma returned to its berth after what the following flock of gulls obviously  regard as a successful trip.



Adventure Children Day's Bay Family Maritime

December 29, 2015 … a family outing

Our run of extraordinarily fine weather continues.

Our grandsons Isaac and Cooper (centre) paying soccer in Williams Park

We used it yesterday for lunch on the grass at Williams Park, Days Bay.  It was also the occasion of granddaughter Grace’s Maggie’s eleventh birthday. While the adults (OK, the ladies) were setting up lunch, the youngsters raced around the park playing soccer. The skills these youngsters displayed was quite impressive.  Lunch was relaxed and delicious.

Once he became accustomed to the water temperature, Isaac kept jumping in.

A little while later, those who were dressed for the occasion went swimming. Our grandchildren Grace and Isaac live in Queensland so there was initially a sharp intake of breath as they felt the chill of Wellington Harbour, but once they got going there was no stopping them.

Crazy uncle Ants leaps from the upper position as his daughter Billie Maggie and niece Grace watch on

They were encouraged in their daring by their uncle Anthony (Ants) who seems to know no fear. They all took turns at diving or jumping from the platform erected for the purpose by the local council.

Days Bay ferry
Another ferry-load of passengers pour into the bay.

Day’s Bay was busier than I’ve ever seen it, and the ferry from the city kept bringing more people.

The family rest on the pontoon before making the return swim to the beach

The youngsters swam from the wharf out to a diving pontoon, accompanied by  Ants to make sure no-one got into difficulty. After a rest on the pontoon, they returned to the park to resume the games.

I am inordinately proud of all my family.


Day's Bay harbour Landscapes Light

November 18, 2015 … at the bay*

I got into a real time squeeze yesterday.

Panorama at Day’s Bay

The day was almost at an end with nothing useful in the can. I drove out along the Eastern Bays until I stopped at Day’s Bay. If any of you are fans of Katherine Mansfield, this is the setting for the short story “At the Bay“. No visible remnant of that scene remains save only the wharf, the crescent of the bay, and the ever-present sighing of the water.

The beach and wharf at sea level

The Day’s Bay jetty is where the steamer Cobar used to come. No more. The modern diesel-powered catamarans come and go like buses, a mere portion of Wellington’s commuter system, delivering workers from their offices to suburbia.

Sombre sunset

Dark overcast clouds were lit from below by the setting sun. I wonder what Katherine Mansfield would recognise the scene of her family excursions.

That’s all today.

  • At the bay by Katherine Mansfield
Birds Children Day's Bay Family Maritime Museum

January 17, 2015 … Grandson and gull chicks

Yesterday was spent with Grandson Cooper.

Cooper stares undaunted at a 3.5 metre statue of Azog the Defiler, an Orc from the movie, the Hobbit, Battle of the Five Armies


We discussed what he would like to do and he asked if we could go to Te Papa. Cooper gets excited about many things and he usually makes a beeline for the exhibits that involve volcanoes, lava, earthquakes and so on. This time he paused on his way to the “awesome forces” display to look at the very imposing stature of an Orc made by Weta Workshops here in Wellington. We had a good day together, but that left me challenged at the end of the day for images I could use in the blog.

Gull chick
Black-backed gull chick can swim efficiently


After Cooper had been picked up by his Dad, I went out to Lowry Bay where I knew there were some Black-backed gull chicks. When I arrived, three of them were in the water cruising about. Alarm calls from their mother as I approached caused them to get out of the water onto the rocks which seem to be their nest.

Three chicks from one brood. These things are huge.


I have no sense of how old these chicks are, but in physical bulk, they are almost as big as their mother. They are bigger than the average supermarket chicken.

Mother puts herself in harm’s way


Though I was keeping a respectful distance, mother was very concerned, and circled close to me with a view to scaring me away. Since II was under the eves of the boatshed,  her last resort was to put herself between me and her babies. The black-backed gull (Larus dominicanus)  is perhaps the most widely distributed gull in the sudden hemisphere, and it is a clean and elegant flier.

Mother and chick


A little further offshore, I lined up on another gull and was surprised to see yet another chick. In the background, the ferry Arahura is coming through the heads

That’s all for today.


Day's Bay harbour Light Maritime Sunset Weather

January 9, 2015 … a soft summer night*

Despite a pleasant walk on the Camborne walkway with Mary, I had no useful images yesterday.

Diiving (1)
Diving into the splash left by the one ahead is a high risk strategy


So I went out again at around six pm, this time to Days Bay from where I hoped to get a shot or two of the very large cruise liner, Celebrity Solstice as she left port. The afternoon was a stunner. It was warm and clear, and the beach at Days bay was crowded with families picnicking and youngster were on the wharf, jumping in to the warm harbour. Perhaps summer is here.

As the Days bay ferry approaches from the city, the giant liner visible through the haze shows no sign of movement


The target of my trip was still firmly moored at Aotea Quay though she was scheduled to depart at six pm. I could see no tugs so presumed her departure was delayed.

Days Bay Ferry
The Days Bay ferry runs several times a day and is popular with commuters and tourists alike


The Days Bay ferry came, offloaded its commuters, took on board city bound passengers and left again

Diving (2)
I never had the kind of courage that allowed me to do this sort of thing. My entry to the pools was more reminiscent of Mr Bean.


The youngsters kept jumping and enjoying themselves as they should be able to at their age.

Diving (3_
Arriving in the water with the intention of creating the highest splash.


Some made a big splash with the girls, and some just made a big splash.

Celebrity Solstice sneaking out while my back was turned. She is glimpsed here in the gap between Matiu/Somes Island and Mokopuna Island


After deciding that I wouldn’t see the Celebrity Solstice depart, I turned for home and dinner. As I got to the Esplanade at Petone I was irritated with myself as I spotted the ship passing behind Matiu/Somes Island.

sailing to Akaroa in the soft light of the setting sun


After a little wait, she came into clear view though much further away that I had hoped for.

Bon voyage.

* Song for the Mira by Allister McGillivray

Architecture Day's Bay Reflections Seaview Vehicles

December 3, 2014 … lonely as a cloud*

Wandering aimlessly again, hoping to see something.

New house in Day’s Bay


I know it’s a strategy that gives poor returns, but for now, it’s what I do.  I went down to Day’s bay and quite liked the clean lines of the upper house in this shot, taken from the Day’s Bay beach. I am not so sure about the somewhat ad hoc appearance of the path that leads from the lower to the upper house, but the views from those windows across and down the harbour must be stunning.

Ivy covered window


At the foot of the hill is the Van Helden Gallery right next door to the wonderful Cobar Restaurant. In the courtyard beside the gallery there are some windows which serve both as a source of light and as a display setting. I think they are works of art in their own right.

Western Star tractor unit


Back in Seaview, I saw the big shiny “Western Star” tractor unit from Hookers’ fleet of bulk liquid haulers.  I have never lost the small boy’s fascination with big trucks and engineering generally, so I had to stop.

The last thing the possum ever saw was its own reflection


As I wandered around it, I was intrigued by the amount of chrome plating from grille to bumpers, air cleaners, exhaust stacks  and wheel hubs. The only thing not polished was the “fifth wheel” which was coated in thick black grease for the trailer units to pivot on. I did wonder about the economic rationale for so much cosmetic work on the trucks. I am guessing that the idea is that the driver will take pride in a smartly dressed truck and treat it with respect.

That’s all for now.

* I wandered lonely as a cloud by William Wordsworth


Day's Bay Maritime sunrise Sunset Waves Weather

May 12, 2014 … it’s life, Jim, but not as we know it*

More of the same.

A rosy dawn in the Hutt Valley

Perhaps it’s true that there is some crude form of life before mid-morning coffee. Anyway, there was an interesting crimson dawn at some early hour of which I previously had little knowledge.

Lowry Bay
At the water’s edge, Lowry Bay

Again, much of yesterday was spent editing and formatting the  camera club newsletter. When I finally emerged from my office, there was some pale remnant of afternoon light left, and the sky was taking on a rosy hue. The previous day, I sought altitude. Yesterday I went to the other extreme and got down low at the water’s edge. Did you know that the water really can have an edge?

Shafts of light
Kaukau and Matiu/Somes

In Lowry Bay, the sun was taking refuge behind the slopes of Mt Kaukau, and shedding its last light on the top of Matiu/Somes Island. What should I make of red skies in both morning and afternoon?  Is this delight or warning? Photographically, either are delightful.

Chembulk Sydney
Red sky … the chemical tanker is red too, but is silhouetted by the low light

I had really packed up to go home, but the last light washing over the chemical tanker, Chembulk Sydney seemed worth stopping for.

Live long and prosper**.

* “Star Trekkin'” written by John O’Connor, Grahame Lister and Rory Kehoe

** Star Trek


Birds Day's Bay Light Maritime Weather

April 23, 2014 … rushing around before departure

This is a very hasty blog issue because I have got behind again.

green finches
Greenfinches flock to gather seeds


On Tuesday, I had to rush around to get things ready for the trip to Blenheim on Wednesday. I began at Hikoikoi and at first saw nothing until I realised that the grasses on the beach were moving though there was no wind. Hundreds of greenfinches were flocking around the dry seed heads, and I shall spend more time there on my return from Blenheim.

Commuter ferry
Day’s Bay ferry heads back to the city

Around to Day’s Bay in time to see off the 5:15 ferry to the city. It sailed nicely into the sun’s path.

paddle boarders
They seemed unaware of the Autumnal chill

Despite the late hour and the cool temperatures, a pair of youngsters were setting out on their stand-up paddle boards. That’s all for now.

See you soon.